Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Iran

    December 16, 2014

    The Iranian authorities’ threat to expedite the execution of 10 men on death row in retaliation for going on hunger strike is deplorable, said Amnesty International as it called for the death sentences to be commuted immediately.

    One of the 10, Saman Naseem, was sentenced to death in 2013 for engaging in armed activities against the state after he allegedly participated in a gun battle while he was a child during which a member of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards was killed. The 10 men are among 24 prisoners from Iran’s Kurdish minority who have been on hunger strike since 20 November 2014 in protest at the conditions of Ward 12 of Oroumieh Central Prison, West Azerbaijan Province, where political prisoners are held.

    “It is truly deplorable that the Iranian authorities are playing games with the lives of these men in such a manner. Resorting to death threats and other punitive measures to quell prisoners’ hunger strikes only serves to underscore how rotten Iran’s criminal justice system is,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    November 25, 2014

    On November 19, Iran freed Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan after six years in prison. Amnesty International supporters had called for his release since his unfair trial.

    Five plain-clothed officers arrested Hossein Derakhshan at his family home in November 2008 during a visit to Iran. Although a dual Canadian-Iranian national, Derakhshan was not permitted to receive  help from Canadian embassy officials in Iran.

    He was detained before his trial for approximately  19 months. The authorities stopped him from having regular contact with family or legal representation during this time. His trial began in June 2010, and in September 2010, he was sentenced to 19 and a half years’ imprisonment on vaguely worded charges relating to national security.

    Amnesty International believed that Hossein Derakhshan was likely targeted for the peaceful expression of his views in relation to his blogging. Amnesty International called for his immediate and unconditional release if he had been prosecuted for exercising his right to freedom of expression.

    November 02, 2014

    Amnesty International UK Press Release

    ‘It’s an outrage that a young woman is being locked up simply for peacefully having her say about how women are discriminated against in Iran’ - Kate Allen

    Responding to reports that the British “volleyball protester” Ghoncheh Ghavami has been jailed for a year for “spreading propaganda against the system” by a court in Iran today, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

    “This is an appalling verdict."

    “It’s an outrage that a young woman is being locked up simply for peacefully having her say about how women are discriminated against in Iran."

    “Ghoncheh is a prisoner of conscience and the Iranian authorities should quash the sentence and release her immediately and unconditionally."

    “The authorities should also investigate allegations that Ghoncheh was subjected to death threats by her interrogators and provide compensation for her arbitrary detention and her prolonged solitary confinement.”

    October 25, 2014

    The execution of Iranian Reyhaneh Jabbari who was convicted after a deeply flawed investigation and trial is an affront to justice, said Amnesty International today.

    Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was executed in a Tehran prison this morning. She had been convicted of killing of a man whom she said tried to sexually abuse her.

    “The shocking news that Reyhaneh Jabbari has been executed is deeply disappointing in the extreme. This is another bloody stain on Iran’s human rights record,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Program.

    “Tragically, this case is far from uncommon. Once again Iran has insisted on applying the death penalty despite serious concerns over the fairness of the trial.”

    Amnesty International believes that the death penalty is an abhorrent form of punishment and should never be used under any circumstances.

    More information

    October 24, 2014

    The Iranian authorities must stop the execution of a woman due to be hanged tomorrow morning after being convicted for the killing of a man whom she said tried to sexually abuse her, said Amnesty International.

    Reyhaneh Jabbari was sentenced to death in 2009 after a deeply flawed investigation and trial. Her execution was due to be carried out on 30 September but was postponed for 10 days.

    “Time is running out for Reyhaneh Jabbari, the authorities must act now to stop her execution,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    “The death penalty is a despicable punishment that is both cruel and inhumane. Applying such a punishment in any circumstances is an affront to justice, but doing so after a flawed trial that leaves huge questions hanging over the case only makes it more tragic.”

    September 29, 2014

    Iranian authorities have today confirmed that a woman convicted of killing a man whom she said tried to sexually abuse her will be hanged tomorrow morning at a prison west of Tehran, Amnesty International said.

    Reyhaneh Jabbari was sentenced to death in 2009 after a deeply flawed investigation and trial which failed to examine all of the evidence.

    “This abhorrent execution must not be allowed to take place, particularly when there are serious doubts about the circumstances of the killing,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    “Instead of continuing to execute people, authorities in Iran should reform their judicial system, which dangerously relies on processes which fail to meet international law and standards for fair trial.”

    “Under international human rights standards people charged with crimes punishable by death are entitled to the strictest observance of all fair trial guarantees.”

    September 18, 2014

    The Iranian authorities’ sentencing of seven people for making a homemade video of the Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy”, reveals the authorities’ contempt for freedom of expression, said Amnesty International.

    Six of those who appear in the video have been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment each and a seventh to one year, one of their lawyers said in a media interview. All six have also been sentenced to 91 lashes. The sentences are suspended for three years.

    “With these sentences, the absurd meets the unjust. If confirmed, it would be a ludicrous outcome; these individuals will have been convicted and branded criminals purely for making a music video celebrating happiness. The youths should never have been paraded before state TV to ‘confess’ nor brought to trial,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa programme.

    July 31, 2014

    Posted at 0001 GMT 1 August 2014

    A sharp rise in arrests, prosecutions and imprisonment of independent journalists in Iran signals the authorities’ utter determination to crush hopes for increased freedom heralded by the election of President Hassan Rouhani, said Amnesty International in a new briefing today.

    “The way journalists are being treated puts everything journalism should stand for at risk in Iran. Anyone deemed critical of the authorities has been at increased risk of arrest and prosecution in recent months, creating an intense climate of fear where voicing any criticism has become a direct road to prison,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Program Director at Amnesty International. 

    “The authorities’ zero tolerance for anything other than state-sanctioned ideas and voices means that merely reporting the news can put people at risk of incarceration.”

    July 22, 2014

    Abdolfattah Soltani, a prominent human rights lawyer and a founding member of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) is serving a 13-year imprisonment in Evin prison. The Iranian government forcibly shut down the CHRD in December 2008.

    He was arrested on 10 September 2011 on charges including “spreading propaganda against the system”, “setting up an illegal opposition group [the CHRD]”, and “gathering and colluding with intent to harm national security.” This is not the first time Abdolfattah Soltani has faced charges for his work as a human rights defender.

    Abdolfattah Soltani and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, served as a lawyer for the family of slain Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who died in Evin prison from beatings sustained after her arrest in July 2003. He also served as a lawyer for leaders of Iran’s persecuted Baha’i community, trade unionists, and other political prisoners.

    July 15, 2014

    The Iranian authorities must halt the execution of a young man who was still a child at the time of his alleged crime, and reverse a disturbing rise in the execution of juvenile offenders which has resulted in at least eight individuals being put to death in the first half of 2014, for crimes allegedly committed when they were below the age of 18, Amnesty International urged today.

    Rasoul Holoumi, now 22, was sentenced to death in October 2010 for the alleged killing of a boy during a group-fight in 2009, when he was 17 years old. The execution could be carried out at any time at the request of the victim’s family, under the Islamic law principle of qesas (retribution-in-kind).

    “It is cruel and inhumane to hang any person but it is particularly reprehensible for Iran to do so when the person was a child at the time of the alleged crime, and the execution takes place after a flawed investigation process that violates fair trial standards,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.

    June 19, 2014
    Maran and Gloria stand up for refugee rights
    By Gloria Nafziger, Refugee, Migrants and Country Campaigner

    Maran was a journalist and owned his own media company in a country riddled with conflict. Believing that the media was a tool that he could use, he wanted to tell the story of his people to the world.  Telling these stories was a way to protect his people and bring peace to his country.  He faced horrible obstacles.  His land became a place of massacre.  At a certain point, he became helpless and lost the power to speak the truth and fight for freedom.  He had few choices - die, surrender to the Government and become a journalist of propaganda, or flee.  After his family was threatened because of his work, Maran fled.

    Leaving his family, he paid a smuggler who promised to take him to a country where he would be safe. He had no choice about the country, only a small hope that he would eventually be safe.

    June 14, 2014

    Iranian authorities must immediately halt the execution scheduled for tomorrow of four Sunni death row prisoners who were convicted after grossly unfair trials, Amnesty International said.

    The fourmen - Hamed Ahmadi, Jahangir Dehghani, Jamshid Dehghani and Kamal Molaee – are set to be executed on charges of “enmity against God” (moharebeh ) on 15 June.

    “The execution of these men must be stopped immediately. The Iranian authorities are executing them over charges that appear to be fabricated and after grossly unfair trials where basic safeguards, such as rights of defense, were ignored,” said Hassiba Hadj Saharoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa

    “This is just another example of the Iranian authorities using the death penalty to deal with minorities rather than guarantying the rights of all Iranians.”

    June 01, 2014

     Posted at 0001 BST 2 June 2014

    •        Student activists, reformists and academics perceived as secular hounded by authorities
    •        “Islamicization” of university curriculums to banish “Western” influences
    •        Women barred from studying certain subjects, quotas imposed to limit number of female students
    •        Access to higher education for minorities denied or curtailed

    The Iranian authorities have waged a ruthless campaign of repression over the past three decades against students and academics who are routinely harassed, detained or barred from studying or teaching because of their peaceful activism, views or beliefs, said Amnesty International in a report released today.

    Silenced, Expelled, Imprisoned: Repression of students and academics in Iran also highlights widespread discrimination, particularly against women and religious minorities, in the country’s higher education system.

    May 31, 2014

    Iranian authorities must urgently halt theexecution of Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani, who was sentenced to death in an unfair trial on the charge of “enmity against God” (moharebeh), said Amnesty International amid fears that he may be executed as soon as Sunday 1 June.

    The family members of Gholamreza Khosravi were informed by prison officials on Saturday 31 May that they must go to Raja’i Shahr Prison, near Tehran, in order to meet him outside the regular visitation hours, sparking fears that his execution may be imminent. He is currently held in solitary confinement. Death row prisoners are generally transferred to solitary isolation units before their executions take place.

    “Yet again Iranian authorities are about to execute a man who did not even receive a fair trial in total disregard of both international law and the Iranian law,” said Hassiba Hadj Saharoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    May 21, 2014

    The planned execution, on 22 May, of two members of the Ahwazi Arab minority who were forced to “confess” on TV and are being held in an unknown location is an absolute mockery of justice which must be stopped immediately, Amnesty International said.

    Ali Chebieshat and Sayed Khaled Mousawi were sentenced to death on 9 September 2013 by a Revolutionary Court in Ahvaz on the charge of “enmity against God” (moharebeh). They were forced to “confess” on TV in relation to the explosion of a natural gas pipeline close to their native village.

    “The harrowing stories of Ali Chebieshat and Sayed Khaled Mousawi show how justice in Iran is seriously flawed. People are routinely forced to ‘confess’ to crimes they didn’t commit and face deeply unfair trials before being marched to the gallows,” said Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

    Pages

    Subscribe to Iran
    rights