Lifesaver for ages 9 and up -- Iran: Free two human rights defenders
Golrokh and Arash enjoy a walk under spring blossoms in happier times. Both are in Evin Prison just for their work to protect human rights. © Private
Amnesty International is very worried about a married couple in prison. Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee [pronounced Goal-row-k Ebra-himee Ear-a-ee] is on the left in the photo. Arash Sadeghi [A-rash Sa-de-ghee] is on the right.
They were arrested in September 2014 just for promoting human rights in Iran. So the main reason for Amnesty’s concern is that neither Golrokh nor Arash should be in prison.
After their arrests, they were threatened and beaten. Everyone has the right to be protected from harm.
Neither of them was allowed to have a lawyer’s help with their cases and their trial lasted just 15 minutes.
Arash is a 30-year-old activist who studied philosophy at university. One of the charges against him is that he posted messages on Facebook to support people in prison. Another is that he communicated with Amnesty International. Arash is in prison for 19 years.
Golrokh is a 36-year-old writer. One of the charges against her was that she wrote a piece of fiction that is based on a true story of a woman who is treated unjustly. Golrokh is in prison for three and a half years.
Everyone has the right to a fair trial. And everyone has the right to express themselves in peaceful ways.
Last October, Arash stopped eating to protest the detention of his wife and “all the girls, women and even men whose basic human rights are being violated and have become innocent victims.” He started eating again in January but his health has suffered ever since.
During that hunger strike, Golrokh wrote to Arash, “You are not far from me, just beyond these brick walls of Evin Prison… I want you to remember that the days we have been longing for will arrive. You have to survive so we can watch the sunrise of freedom.”
Ask the government to free Golrokh and Arash. Your letter could be a lifesaver!
WHAT CAN I DO?
Please write to Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Start your letter with Your Excellency.
- In your first sentence, tell him something about yourself. This will make your letter different from the other ones he gets.
- Remind him that the work Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee and Arash Sadeghi were doing was peaceful and did not break any laws.
- Politely ask him to release them both.
If you want to add another sentence, you could ask him to make sure both of them are treated well right until they are free.
WHERE DO I SEND MY MESSAGE?
Mohamed Javad Zarif
c/o Permanent Mission of Iran to the UN in Geneva
Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
Unfortunately we cannot send mail to Golrokh and Arash. The prison authorities would prevent them from receiving messages. But it would help them if you can ask one other person to write a letter for their freedom.
Thank you for taking action!
If you have not received this Lifesaver directly from Amnesty International’s Toronto office and would like future actions, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.