Saturday, 28 January 2012

Ahwazi Mother of Five Reunites with Her Family following years of Suffering, Prison and Torture.

Ma’soumeh Ka’bi
Ma’soumeh Ka’bi a mother of five and wife of a prominent Ahwazi activist has reunited with her family after nearly four years of trauma and ordeal. 
In March 2011 Amnesty International reported that "Ma’soumeh Ka’bi suffers from hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and pain in her left foot, and has lost most of her teeth since her arrest. She is also reported to be suffering from severe depression. Amnesty International fears that


Ma’soumeh Ka’bi is being denied adequate medical treatment while held, possibly to place further pressure on her, and possibly to try and induce her husband to return to Iran, where he would be at risk of serious human rights violations. Her children have now left Iran and have been reunited with their father.

In the report AI sated that "Ma’soumeh Ka’bi is a member of the Ahwazi ... and the wife of Habib Nabgan, a prominent member of the Lejnat al-Wefaq (Reconciliation Committee), a banned political party which promotes the rights [Ahwazis]. She is serving a four and a half year prison sentence in Sepidar Prison, in Ahwaz City. Habib Nabgan left the country in late 2005 or early 2006 and was later resettled as a refugee in Denmark. Following his departure, Ma’soumeh Ka’bi and her younger son Imad, then aged two, were arrested on 27 February 2006. They were released on bail on 28 April 2006. Her other four children, and Habib Nabgan's mother, were also arrested but were released the following day. Habib Nabgan received threats while abroad that his family would be tortured or killed if he did not return to Iran.

Ma’soumeh Ka’bi then fled Iran with her five children on 7 May 2008 and applied for refugee status with the UNHCR in Damascus. Following her departure, Habib Nabgan’s sister, Jamila Nabgan, was arrested in May 2008 and held for two days at the Intelligence Ministry detention facility in Ahwaz and questioned about her sister-in-law’s flight to Syria.

Ma’soumeh Ka’bi was granted permission to join her husband by the Danish authorities and was issued with a travel document. On 9 September 2008, she took her five children to the office of Syria's Immigration Department in order to obtain an exit visa, which would allow them to leave the country. The six were all detained that day, and despite interventions made by the UNHCR in Syria requesting the family’s release, they were forcibly returned to Iran on 27 September 2008.

On arrival in Tehran, the family was held at a detention facility at the airport for one night then transferred to a detention facility in Tehran run by the Ministry of Intelligence. On or around 29 September, the children were separated from their mother. All the family members were again transferred and taken to another Ministry of Intelligence detention facility in Ahwaz. Security personnel then telephoned other family members in Al Ahwaz, informing them of the place of detention of the children and warning them not to ask questions about Ma’soumeh Ka’bi. The children were released in late October 2008.

Ma’soumeh Ka’bi, who is reported to have been tortured in detention, was tried by a branch of the Revolutionary Court in Ahwaz. Her court-appointed lawyer was not allowed access to her file and therefore was not able to prepare her defence. She was sentenced on 1 January 2009 to four and a half years in prison. She may not even have been present when her lawyer was notified of her sentence and, therefore, may have been unaware of the precise allegations against her. Six months of her sentence are believed to have related to the charge of leaving the country using falsified travel documents. Amnesty International is not aware of the precise charge the other four years relates to, but believes that she has been targeted on account of the political activities of her husband, Habib Nabgan. After her conviction, Ma’soumeh Ka’bi was reportedly released on bail pending an appeal. Her sentence is believed to have been confirmed on appeal in or around February 2009. She was rearrested afterwards and her father was briefly detained after he complained that she had been tortured or otherwise ill-treated".

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