February 27, 2009

U.S. Department of state - 2008 Human Rights Report: Iran

US Department of state issued its 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on February 25, 2009. Some parts of the report about Iran regarding Ale-Yasin and Master Ilia (Peyman Fattahi) is selected as follows. To see the whole report about Iran click here.

U.S. Department of state
2008 Human Rights Report: Iran*
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices February 25, 2009
Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From: ...
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The constitution and law prohibit torture; however, there were numerous credible reports that security forces and prison personnel tortured detainees and prisoners.

In October Peyman Fatahi was hospitalized after security officials reportedly beat him severely after summoning him for questioning related to his association with a group known as the "Ale-Yasin community." Authorities first arrested Fatahi in June 2007 and conditionally released him after holding him for six months in Evin Prison on charges of "acting against national security." Group members alleged that he was also severely beaten during his 2007 imprisonment

February 8, 2009

Report about crack down against AleYasin society

By IHRV | February 2


Al Yasin Society in Iran Reported Detention of Its Leader and Number of Its Members

Payman Fatahi, also known as Master Ilya, is an individual who is referred as Master by the followers of Al Yasin Society. On January 4, when Mr. Fatahi appeared at the office of the Ministry of Intelligence to respond to some inquiries, he was apprehended and transferred to Evin Prison. Four others were also detained at the same time as Mr. Fatahi. Some reports indicated that the detained individuals have been mistreated and subjected to assaults by security agents at the Ministry.

The society followers also said that agents from the Ministry of Intelligence have routinely harassed some of their members.

Al Yasin Society

Although there is not much information available about the characteristics of this society, its members introduced the organization as one of the largest Non-Governmental Organizations in the Middle East. Followers, in their description of the Society stated:

“The Al Yasin Society is a cultural society that is formed from a collection of many other NGOs. The organizations that make up the Society include: Intellectual Organization, Interpreters Organization, Yasin Writers and Teachers Organization, Nature Front Organization (largest environmental entity in the Middle East), Steady Thinking and other similar publications, Yahou Publication institutions, Ham, Rights Teachings and many other similar cultural entities. The members of Al Yasin society are estimated to be somewhere between 140 and 160 thousand.”

So far, a number of publications affiliated with this society have been closed for their association with Mr. Fatahi (Master Ilya M), and other publications such as Movers, Spiritual Science, The Art of Higher Life and the Art of Living have been put under pressure by close monitoring of security forces.

Followers have also stated that many books composed by Master Ilya have been blocked by the Ministry of Guidance and have not been released for publication. The books were written by Master Ilya when he was between the ages of 12 and 33 and there are approximately 30 such books and their subject matters are focused on religious discussions and philosophical issues.

An Introduction of Payman Fatahi

According to followers of Payman Fatahi, those who know him across different social strata and in many different locations refer to him by different names. Some of these names have included: Payman Fatahi, Mohammad-Masih Mosavi, Koroush Aryanejad, Iliahou Hanavi and Davoud Abdullahi. In recent years, Mr. Fatahi has been known as Master Ilya M throughout a wider community and among his followers.

Mr. Fatahi is 35 years old, and he was detained by the Ministry of Intelligence in June of 2007 and kept in section 209 inside Evin Prison for six months, 150 days of which were spent in solitary confinement. During Mr. Fatahi’s detention period, he was subjected to 104 questioning sessions. Later, he was released from the prison conditionally. The conditions for his release included: censure from writing or conducting speeches and overall censure from any further cultural activities. He was also barred from leaving the country or making contacts with any of his previous students or contacting any other associated organizations.

Charges in Mr. Fatahi’s case included: dissension from religious dogma, conversion to Christianity and spreading Christianity, promoting pluralism and propagation of spiritualism, conspiracy against the Islamic regime, religious breakdown by attempting to link Islam, Christianity and Judaism, propagation of spiritual liberalism, insulting religious artifacts, propaganda against the regime and attempts against national security by promoting secret organizations and establishing Ilyaism.

Some believe that Mr. Fatahi has been subjected to both physical and psychological tortures during his detention in section 209 in Evin Prison, and the Ministry of Intelligence also pressured him to make a testimony via a television broadcast.

Mr. Fatahi’s family members have also been harassed and put under pressure by the Ministry of Intelligence.

The website belonging to his followers has made the following statement:

“We call him Master because he has masterfully engraved the path of a steady life in our minds and in our hearts. Steady life is a steady thought, steady speech and a steady deed. God-like and God-loving.

It was he who evoked faithfulness in our psyche. Because he has submitted and has become a servant of God. Because he is our educator and our Master and the smallest token between an educator and his pupils is faith.”

In an open letter distributed by Mr. Fatahi’s followers after his last year’s arrest, they said:

“From the age of 16, Ilya M, based on his research and observations in connection with aspects of soul-searching, spiritual science in the Quran and God’s word, and based on meaningful analysis and spiritualism derived from God’s word, made his mastery evident among a limited number of his pupils. These practical and theoretical trainings continued at this level for a number of years – at the age of 23, the first public speeches of Master Ilya M began in Tehran – the sessions were greeted with extraordinary enthusiasm among people, especially amongst the young, students, and those involved in writing, culture and thinking.

The popularity of these meetings grew so big that, after a short while, there was not a hall big enough in Tehran to contain all of the participants. As a result, the speech sessions were being repeated at different times via video or audio cassettes. Over the years, as a result of a widespread pressures and limitations by the office of anti-religion, the frequency of these speech sessions was reduced. Every now and then, a new attack by an Al-Qaeda-like culture and Taliban-like religion would take place, which were intended to keep a complete, continuous control over the culture and the religion for their usage as tools. Then, in one speech session held in Martyr Shiroodi stadium in Tehran, the first physical attack was committed against the Master, and with a brave defense shown by the people, the Master’s arrest plan was blown and was defeated on this day. After this incident, the wave of terror against the person and the character of Master Ilya M appeared in a new form, and attacks appeared in violent and Taliban-like press. According to the official Fars press, four large security and cultural organizations were commissioned to confront Master Ilya M, his followers and all spiritual activities. At this time, one ultra-conservative paper (possibly without awareness of its managing editor) in a number of very critical articles by agents in the office of anti-religion against Master Ilya, called for judicial and security authorities to stand against the Master. Coincidentally, the next speech session was planned to be held in the 100,000 person capacity Azadi Stadium, which was prevented by the authorities decisively. Gradually, confrontations began with a number of Master’s followers, ending with followers’ expulsions from governmental and quasi-governmental positions in the offices. Most of the publications, which were being managed by followers close to the Master and under his supervision, were closed or faced with new limitations. In a blink of an eye, publications including The Art of Steady Life, The Movers, The Art of Life and Science of Spiritualism were ordered to be shut down.”

In spite of many published reports about the arrest of followers in this Society, most of known social and political activists in Iran have expressed no knowledge about the existence and activities of this society.

Ilya followers have stated: “Presently, close to 40 of his (Ilya M) works, which are interpretations of his speeches, have been banned. The only work that has been published is related to his speeches made when he was 23 years old (11 years ago). Among these works, there are more than 200 research projects that were designed by Master Ilya M directly or through his interventions, and these works have also been censured”.

So far, one month since the arrest of Mr. Fatahi, there has not been any published report on his condition inside the prison

* The entire article is compiled based on reports published by Ilya followers and the accuracy of its content has not been verified.

February 1, 2009

Master's picture

Master Ilia's in one of his lectures

The open Letter (Part 1 and 2)

To see the first and the second part of the open Letter, please see the following links:

Part 1
Part 2