Hojjatoleslam Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari

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Hojjatoleslam Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari

"D.o.b.: 1950 Profession: Researcher and journalist. Director of the Ali Shariati Research Centre and contributing editor of the newspaper Iran-e-Farda, banned in April 2000. Date of arrest: 5 August 2000 Details of arrest: Eshkevari was arrested at his home, a few hours after he flew into Tehran from a trip to Europe. He was one of a number of Iranian writers, journalists and academics who attended a conference at the Heinrich Boll Institute in Berlin on 7-9 April 2000 entitled “Iran after the elections”, at which political and social reform in Iran were publicly debated. Eshkevari reportedly learned that a warrant had been issued for his arrest shortly after the conference, and had since been staying in Germany and France. Many other prominent Iranian intellectuals who attended the Berlin conference were arrested and charged. Details of trial: Eshkevari’s trial was held behind closed doors from 7-17 October 2000 in the Special Court for the Clergy. He is believed to have been convicted of “acting against national security” in connection with a speech he gave at the conference, “defaming government officials in articles”, “starting a campaign against the system”, and “denying and insulting the holy religion of Islam”. He was also additionally charged with “declaring war on God”, “being corrupt on earth”, and apostasy, all of which carry the death penalty, but unconfirmed reports suggest that these latter three charges have been overturned. To date no information has been made public about what sentence was passed on him. The outcome of an appeal scheduled for 26 November 2000 has also not been disclosed, although his death sentence is believed to have been commuted. New charges appear to have been filed against him at the Special Court for the Clergy, although no further details are known at this stage. Health concerns: Eshkevari is an insulin-dependent diabetic, and there are unconfirmed reports that he has been unable to obtain insulin in custody. Place of detention: Evin Prison. Transferred to Prison 59, a military detention centre, in April 2001 and held incommunicado until mid-July 2001. Said to have been allowed to spend two days with his family in early December 2001. Other information: Adopted by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in 2001. Honorary member of: Canadian, Danish, Ghanaian, American and English PEN Centres." [1]

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