Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dangerous Iranian Anarchist Akbar Ganji Captured

IC Publications: "Dissident Iranian journalist, on prison leave, re-arrested: wife
Iran's most prominent dissident journalist, Akbar Ganji, has apparently been arrested again even though he was out of jail for medical treatment, his wife told AFP Wednesday.

"While my husband was out last night with some friends, 10 officials from the Tehran prosecution office came for him with an arrest warrant," Massoumeh Shafiie said.

She said the warrant had been signed by Tehran's notorious hardline prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi. After the arrest team left, she said Ganji did not return home.

"I've had no news from him. He has probably been arrested," she said.

In 2001, Ganji was sentenced to six years over articles he wrote linking senior officials, including top cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian, to the serial murders of several intellectuals and writers.

Rafsanjani is seeking a comeback as president in the June 17 election, and is currently placed as frontrunner in the race.

Ganji was released from jail on May 29 for medical treatment. He was given leave for seven days initially, which could be extended if he produced a medical certificate.

"We had sent a certificate from the doctor on Tuesday, but this has not been taken into account," Shafiie said.

Since being released, Ganji has continued to speak out against the clerical regime and has called for a boycott of the polls.

Last month he also published an attack against supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and claimed "physical and mental torture" was being used in Evin prison to extract confessions from prisoners.

The judiciary later said it was investigating the text.

According to Ganji's family and lawyers, including Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, the writer is suffering from chronic asthma -- a common ailment in Tehran -- and should be granted an immediate and unconditional release.

New York-based Human Rights Watch issued a statement condemning prosecutor Mortazavi's re-arrest warrant and called for it to be rescinded immediately.

"Mortazavi has shown once again that he is calling the shots in the judiciary and is willing to go to any lengths to silence his critics," said Joe Stork, the watchdog's deputy Middle East director.

"Powerful people were implicated by Akbar Ganji's investigations," Stork said. "They are willing ... to put him behind bars again even though he has committed no crime whatsoever.""

VEVAK Scare Stories From Ultra Violent Terrorist Group MeK

Iran Focus-News - Other - VEVAK steps up anti-dissident activities in Europe: "VEVAK steps up anti-dissident activities in Europe Wed. 8 Jun 2005

Iran Terror Website
London, Jun. 08 - The Ministry of Intelligence and Security (VEVAK), Iran’s dreaded secret police, has stepped up intimidation of Iranian dissidents abroad amid signs of renewed preparations for assassination of exiles based in Europe.

At least one suspicious murder in Paris and dozens of cases of intimidation through telephone calls and letters are being attributed to VEVAK agents. Several VEVAK “hitmen” have been sighted in the past few days in European capitals. They include Karim Assadzadeh, a VEVAK assassin now staying in Paris. Another VEVAK assassin, who according to an intelligence source has murdered dozens of dissidents in Iran, entered Sweden recently and has applied for political asylum. VEVAK officers want to use political asylum as a cover for his activities.

Other sources knowledgeable about VEVAK’s latest campaign say the man at the helm of the surge of activities in Europe is Deputy Minister of Intelligence and Security Mohammad Reza Iravani.

“Iravani has started a campaign to silence the opposition activists. Intelligence exists showing that [Intelligence Minister Ali] Younesi gave him the orders to carry out this task”, one source said on condition of anonymity because of the dangers involved in exposing the Iranian intelligence apparatus.

Iran Terror had previously revealed the role of Iravani, known inside Iran’s officialdom by his pseudonym Amir-Hossein Taghavi, in numerous assassinations and murders of dissidents inside Iran and abroad and also shed light on a new disinformation campaign that he has been coordinating, targeting in particular the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin (PMOI / MeK).

He scored a propaganda coup on May 18, when Human Rights Watch put out a 28-page report on alleged human rights violations by the MeK. Of the 12 “witnesses” Human Rights Watch cited in the report, every single one was familiar to Iravani. All were VEVAK agents operating in the Netherlands and Germany.

One source said that following the release of the HRW report, VEVAK agents stepped up exponentially harassment of MeK supporters in various European countries by making repeated telephone calls, adding, “While playing tapes of the Quran, they demand that these Iranians return to Iran and halt their anti-regime activities; or else they “would be taken to Iran in sacks”.

Among other criminal activities, VEVAK agents are notorious for kidnapping Iranian dissidents and attempting to return them to Tehran.

One such example was the 1992 kidnapping and torture of Ali-Akbar Ghorbani, a member of the Mojahedin, in 1992 in Turkey. Authorities discovered his mutilated body a few months later and subsequent investigations revealed that the Iranian embassy played the central role in carrying out the operation.

“VEVAK agents exert pressure on families of opposition activists and use them to send addresses of VEVAK-run websites to their children abroad. These sites include Irandidban, Iran-Interlink, Nejat, Mahdis, Sepideh, Iran-Ayandeh, Negah-e No and Habilian to name a few” the source added.

Iran Terror wrote previously that in mid-2002, VEVAK agents who travelled from Iran to European countries set-up numerous Persian-language websites and journals working as a front for the intelligence agency, highlighting gory accounts of supposed “solitary confinement and physical abuse in MeK camps in Iraq”.

Another source said that VEVAK agents in Iran are sent to the homes of relatives of MeK supporters, forcing them to call their families abroad and state that if they refuse to return, intelligence agents would arrest the family members in Iran or murder the activists themselves.

“In some cases, VEVAK agents have told the activists over the phone, ‘We have the capacity to kill you abroad. It would cost us only $1,000. We will stab you to death”, the source said.

Sources point to the suspicious circumstances around the death of an Iranian university professor in Paris. Kasra Vafadari was repeatedly stabbed in his apartment, raising serious concerns about the motives of killer. Vafadari was reportedly vehemently opposed to the ruling theocracy in Iran.

“Now more than ever, Iranian dissidents are feeling insecure even in the streets of Paris, Berlin, London, and throughout other European cities. VEVAK is taking advantage of European deals with the clerical regime to set the stage for further murders and assassinations”, another source stated.

VEVAK agents also intimidate Iranian exiles by threatening their families in Iran.

“In one call from Iran to an opposition activist, a VEVAK agent warned, ‘If you continue your activities, your brother would be run over by the car here in Tehran’. This is the kind of threats and abuse opposition supporters have to face”, the source added.

Dozens of such calls have recently occurred and a number of activists said that they reported the threats to police in various European capitals.

After several phone calls to an MeK sympathizer in Sweden, a VEVAK official, using the alias of Amiri, warned him in an email, “If you make a trip to a neighbouring country such as Turkey, Dubai or to the Far East, Malaysia, Indonesia or to Europe or Cyprus, or wherever your are comfortable, I would be waiting for you”."