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Iraq urged to stop deportation of Iranian Ahwazi refugees

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 15, 2011

Amnesty International has urged the Iraqi authorities to prevent the forcible return to Iran of several members of the Ahwazi Arab minority amid fears that they would be at serious risk of torture and other human rights violations in Iran.

Two recognized refugees, Shahhed Abdulhussain Abbas Allami and Saleh Jasim Mohammed al-Hamid, are currently being detained in Basra prison, while a third man has already been transferred to the custody of Iranian officials in Iraq.

At least three other Ahwazi Arabs, all members of the same family, are also at serious risk. They are believed to have been detained by the Iraqi authorities at the request of the Iranian government because their father is an Iranian political activist, currently exiled. Two members of this family, both aged under 18, have already been handed to Iranian officials in Iraq and their subsequent fate is unknown.

“The Iraq authorities must not allow these members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority to be sent back to Iran,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“In the past other cases of Ahwazi Arabs forcibly returned to Iran have faced torture. Amnesty International fears that these individuals would be at real risk of human rights violations if they are returned, and it would be a breach of Iraq’s obligations under international law.”

States are not permitted to return individuals to countries where they would be at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations.

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Torture in Iran

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on November 21, 2010

Human experimentation or Medical torture?

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on August 30, 2010

The influential Persian Muslim physician, Avicenna (Ibn Sina) introduced the use of biomedical research, clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, drug tests and efficacy tests on human subjects.

Human dissections were carried out by Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar), who introduced the use of experimentation in surgery during the 12th century.

In the 1900s, as the progress of medicine began to accelerate, the concept of the various codes of ethics of scientific disciplines changed dramatically, and the treatment of research subjects along with it.

Walter Reed’s well-known experiments to develop an inoculation for yellow fever led these advances. Reed’s vaccine experiments were carefully scrutinized, however, unlike earlier trials.

Infamous cases of human subjects abuse in the 20th century were conducted by the Nazis during World War II, an example of research involving prisoners which came to light in the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial and led to the Nuremberg Code of ethical conduct for human subjects research.

There have been numerous human experiments performed in the United States, which have been considered unethical, and were often performed illegally, without the knowledge, consent, or informed consent of the test subjects.

Many types of experiments were performed including the deliberately infecting people with deadly or debilitating diseases, exposing people to biological and chemical weapons, human radiation experiments, injecting people with toxic and radioactive chemicals, surgical experiments, interrogation/torture experiments, tests involving mind-altering substances, and a wide variety of others. Many of these tests were performed on children and mentally disabled individuals. In many of the studies, a large number of the subjects were poor racial minorities or prisoners.

Between 1960 and 1971, the Department of Defense funded non-consensual whole body radiation experiments on poor, black cancer patients, who were not told what was being done to them. Patients were told that they were receiving a “treatment” that might cure their cancer, but in reality the Pentagon were attempting to determine the effects of high levels of radiation on the human body. One of the doctors involved in the experiments, Robert Stone, was worried about litigation by the patients, so he only referred to them by their initials on the medical reports. He did this so that, in his words, “there will be no means by which the patients can ever connect themselves up with the report”, in order to prevent “either adverse publicity or litigation”.

From 1960 to 1971, Dr. Eugene Saenger, funded by the Defense Atomic Support Agency, performed whole body radiation experiments on more than 90 poor, black Americans. He forged consent forms, and did not tell them what he was doing (they thought they were receiving medical care). He exposed their chests to 100 rads of radiation (the equivalent of about 7500 x-rays), which caused intense pain, vomiting, and bleeding from their nose and ears. At least eight, and as many as 20, of the subjects died as a result of the experiments.

In 1963, University of Washington researchers irradiated the testes of 232 prisoners to determine the effects of radiation on testicular function. When these inmates later left prison and had children, at least four of them had offspring born with birth defects. The exact number is unknown because researchers never followed up on the status of the subjects.

There have been reports of North Korean human experimentation. These reports show human rights abuses similar to those of Nazi and Japanese human experimentation in World War II. These allegations of human rights abuses are denied by the North Korean government.

In North Korea, entire families are jailed if one family member is suspected of anti-government sentiments.

In 2006 Human Rights Watch reported that pro-Moscow Chechen forces under the command, in effect, of President Ramzan Kadyrov, as well as federal police personnel, used torture to get information about separatist forces. “If you are detained in Chechnya, you face a real and immediate risk of torture. And there is little chance that your torturer will be held accountable,” said Holly Cartner, Director Europe and Central Asia division of HRW.

On February 1, 2009, the New York Times released extensive evidence to support allegations of consistent torture and executions under the Kadyrov government. The accusations were sparked by the assassination in Austria of a former Chechen rebel who had gained access to Kadyrov’s inner circle, 27-year old Umar Israilov.

Most Chechens are Sunni Muslim, the country having converted to Islam between the 16th and the 19th centuries. Most of the population follows either, the Shafi’i, Hanafi, or Maliki schools of jurisprudence, fiqh. The Shafi’i school of jurisprudence has a long tradition among the Chechens and thus it remains the most practiced.

The state of human rights in Iran has been criticized both by Iranians and international human right activists, writers, and NGOs. The United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Commission have condemned prior and ongoing abuses in Iran in published critiques and several resolutions.

The government of Iran is criticized both for restrictions and punishments that follow the Islamic Republic’s constitution and law, and for actions that do not, such as the torture, rape, and killing of political prisoners, and the beatings and killings of dissidents and other civilians.