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Iran: Protesters demand release of teachers activist

Family members, colleagues of Hasham Khastar rallying outside the hospital
Family members, colleagues of Hasham Khastar rallying outside the hospital

Reported by PMOI/MEK

 

Iran, Nov. 6, 2018 - Dozens of people in Mashhad joined family members of Mr. Hashem Khastar, head of the Teachers Union Center, in this northeastern Iran city on Monday to rally outside the Ebn Seena Hospital and protest Khastar’s abduction and apprehension.

State police and anti-riot units ready at the scene immediately arrested Mr. Khastar’s son.

Mr. Khastar’s wife said, “I will remain here until my husband is released.”

However, the repressive police arrested and transferred to an unknown location. It is worth noting that Ms. Maleki, the wife of Mr. Khastar, has recently undergone open-heart surgery and is currently ill.

Mr. Khastar’s sister refused orders from the regime’s repressive forces saying she must leave the area. She was seen shouting they must release her brother.

 

State police & anti-riot units at the protest rally scene

State police & anti-riot units at the protest rally scene

 

Hashem Khastar, the retired teacher in Mashhad, was abducted on October 23 by security forces. Following continuous efforts by his family to learn of his whereabouts, security forces eventually said he was hospitalized in the psychiatric branch of the Ebn Seena Hospital

Mr. Khastar’s wife has denied her husband had any physical or psychological illnesses.

 

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Following the abduction of Hashem Khastar, a known teachers’ union activist in the city of Mashhad, northeast Iran, and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) intelligence confining him in a psychiatric hospital his wife and child were finally permitted to visit him.

“On Thursday, I went to the courthouse for permission to visit my husband, Mr. Seyed Hashem Khastar, in Mashhad’s Ebn Seena Hospital. There was no file or records about this arrest. I spoke to the deputy public prosecutor about my husband’s arrest and he said they had not issued any orders for his arrest. I spoke with another deputy public prosecutor and he said we had not given any orders either. I received the same answer from the Intelligence Ministry, the IRGC intelligence and the police,” Mrs. Sedighe Maleki-fard said.

“The Social Emergency unit arrested him outside his orchard and took him straight to the Ebn Seena Hospital. They took blood from him and gave him an injection… Considering the fact that my husband’s life is in danger in this psychiatric hospital, he must be released immediately,” she continued.

Mrs. Maleki-fard issued a call to her compatriots asking them to raise the issue of her husband’s arrest with the Iranian regime’s judiciary and demand his release.

The Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is calling on all international human rights organizations to see into this matter and call on the Iranian regime to have Mr. Hashem Khastar released. His transfer to a psychiatric hospital after the revelation of his abduction is nothing but the regime’s effort to cover up their crime.

The NCRI Education Commission is also calling on the international community, the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council and the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran to take urgent action aiming to protect Mr. Khastar’s life and guarantee his well-being.

According to reports published in social media networks about the sudden disappearance of Mr Hashem Khastar, the representative of the teachers union and a known teachers’ rights activists, Mrs. Sedighe Maleki, the wife of Mr. Khastar, said the IRGC intelligence arrested (abducted) Mr. Khastar without providing an arrest warrant. He was hospitalized on Tuesday in Mashhad’s Ebn Seena Psychiatric Hospital that is specially designed to treat mentally disturbed patients.

“A nurse told me that Mr. Khastar has been hospitalized in an emergency room and is banned from any family visits, based on orders issued by security officials,” she continued.

“He was completely healthy and after retiring spent many of his days farming. The only medication he consumed were blood pressure pills. Khastar being hospitalized in an emergency section of a special facility for psychiatric patients means [authorities] injected a special type of medication with the intention of killing him, or he had been severely injured under torture or during his arrest,” Mrs. Maleki added.

Seyed Hashem Khastar, had gone missing since Tuesday. His vehicle was found on Tuesday outside the city of Mashhad, northeast Iran, near an orchard. His mobile phone was turned off.

Khastar had time and again been harassed by operatives linked to the Iranian regime for defending the rights of Iran’s teachers. On numerous occasions, Khastar was arrested by the mullahs’ intelligence agents and placed behind bars.

During the past few weeks, Khastar had made public calls for widespread measures aimed at having jailed teachers released.

Ever since Khastar’s disappearance, teachers across the country and other social media users have launched a wave of protests demanding information about his whereabouts, security, and well-being. They are using two different Farsi hashtags, “Hashem Khastar” and “Where is Hashem Khastar,” warning the mullahs’ regime is responsible for his well-being.

 

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