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Iran

    October 02, 2018

    Responding to the horrific news that 24-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Zeinab Sekaanvand was executed early this morning in Urumieh central prison, West Azerbaijan province, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:

    “The execution of Zeinab Sekaanvand is a sickening demonstration of the Iranian authorities’ disregard for the principles of juvenile justice and international human rights law. Zeinab was just 17 years old at the time of her arrest. Her execution is profoundly unjust and shows the Iranian authorities’ contempt for the right of children to life. The fact that her death sentence followed a grossly unfair trial makes her execution even more outrageous.

    “Zeinab Sekaanvand said that, soon after she was married at 15, she sought help many times from the authorities about her violent husband and alleged that her brother-in-law had raped her repeatedly. Instead of investigating these allegations, however, the authorities consistently ignored her and failed to provide her with any support as a victim of domestic and sexual violence.

    October 01, 2018

    Responding to the horrific news that 24-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Zeinab Sekaanvand is due to be executed on 2 October, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:

    “The Iranian authorities must urgently halt their plans to execute Zeinab Sekaanvand. She was arrested when she was just 17 years old and sentenced to death for the murder of her husband, whom she married at the age of 15. Not only was she a child at the time of the crime, she was subjected to a grossly unfair legal process.

    “She did not see a lawyer until her final trial session in 2014, when she retracted ‘confessions’ she had made when she had no access to legal representation. She also says that, following her arrest, she was tortured by male police officers through beatings all over her body.

    “The authorities must immediately quash Zeinab Sekaanvand’s conviction and grant her a fair retrial without recourse to the death penalty, and in accordance with principles of juvenile justice.”

    September 26, 2018

    The Iranian authorities are torturing jailed human rights defender Arash Sadeghi, who has cancer, by deliberately depriving him of the specialist medical care health professionals have said he desperately requires, Amnesty International revealed today.

    Arash Sadeghi, whom Amnesty International considers a prisoner of conscience, having been sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2016 solely for his peaceful human rights work, was diagnosed with a cancerous bone tumour last month. However, authorities at Raja’i Shahr prison, in Karaj, a city north-west of Tehran, have since repeatedly impeded his access to potentially life-saving medical care.

    “The Iranian authorities’ treatment of Arash Sadeghi’s is not only unspeakably cruel; in legal terms it is an act of torture. Every step of the way, the prison authorities, the prosecutor’s office and the Revolutionary Guards have done everything they can to hinder and limit access to the essential treatment that Arash requires in order to address his life-threatening cancer,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    September 08, 2018

    In response to the news that three Iranian Kurdish men, Zaniar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, and Ramin Hossein Panahi, were executed this morning in Raja’i Shahr prison, Karaj, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s  Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:

    “We are horrified by the news that the Iranian authorities have executed these men, despite widespread condemnation of their death sentences and calls from UN human rights experts and other bodies to halt their executions.

    “The trials of all three men were grossly unfair. All were denied access to their lawyers and families after their arrest, and all said they were tortured into making “confessions”. In sentencing them to death despite these massive failings in due process, the Iranian authorities have once again demonstrated their brazen disregard for the right to life.

    September 04, 2018

    Responding to the arrest in Iran this morning of Reza Khandan, the husband of prominent jailed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, Amnesty International's Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philip Luther, said:

    “First the authorities jail Nasrin Sotoudeh on bogus charges, then harass, intimidate and threaten her family and friends, and now arrest her husband. These callous actions illustrate the lengths to which Iranian authorities will go to silence human rights lawyers, even targeting their families.

    “The Iranian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release both Nasrin Sotoudeh and Reza Khandan. They must drop all charges against them and stop their harassment of this family once and for all.

    “The international community, including the EU given its ongoing dialogue with Iran, must condemn in the strongest terms the arbitrary arrest and detention of both Reza Khandan and Nasrin Sotoudeh, and do everything in their power to expedite the release of these two human rights defenders.”

    Background

    August 23, 2018

    Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz

    DOWNLOAD PDF HERE

    Iranian Christians Victor Bet-Tamraz, his wife Shamiram Issavi, Amin Afshar-Naderi and Hadi Asgari, have been sentenced to a combined total of 45 years in prison solely for practising their Christian faith. If imprisoned, they would be prisoners of conscience.

    Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz and Shamiram Issavi, ethnic Assyrian Christians, and Amin Afshar-Naderi and Hadi Asgari, Christian converts (pictured here in that order), have been sentenced to between five and 15 years in prison. They have been targeted solely for peacefully practising their Christian faith. The authorities have cited peaceful activities such as holding private Christmas gatherings, organizing and conducting house churches, and travelling outside Iran to attend Christian seminars, as “illegal church activities” which “threaten national security” in order justify their convictions. The individuals, who are all currently free on bail, are awaiting the verdict of the appeal court.

    July 11, 2018

    The public flogging on Tuesday in Iran of a young man convicted of consuming alcohol when he was just 14 or 15 years old over a decade ago highlights the inhumanity of a justice system that legalizes brutality, said Amnesty International today.

    “The circumstances of this case are absolutely shocking, representing another horrific example of the Iranian authorities’ warped priorities. No one, regardless of age, should be subjected to flogging; that a child was prosecuted for consuming alcohol and sentenced to 80 lashes beggars belief,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    “The Iranian authorities’ prolific use of corporal punishment, including on children, demonstrates a shocking disregard for basic humanity. They should immediately abolish all forms of such punishment, which in Iran includes amputation and blinding as well as flogging.”

    July 05, 2018
    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 126/18 HERE

    Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been held in Tehran’s Evin prison since her arrest on 13 June. She is facing charges including “spreading propaganda against the system” in connection with her work as a lawyer defending women who have peacefully protested against compulsory veiling (hijab). She is a prisoner of conscience.

    Award-winning human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, 55, was arrested at her home in Tehran on 13 June and taken to Evin prison, where she is being detained in the women’s ward. At the time of her arrest, she was informed that she was being detained to serve a five-year prison sentence based on charges on which she had never been tried or convicted. She has since been told that she is facing new charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”. She has refused to post bail, which is set at 6.5 billion rials (US$150,000), saying that the charges are baseless and fabricated.

    June 17, 2018

    Iranian authorities must urgently stop the imminent execution of Mohammad Salas, a 51-year-old man from one of Iran’s largest Sufi orders, the Nemattolah Gonabadi order, and to immediately quash his death sentence, Amnesty International said today.

    “Amnesty International has received information that indicates a huge miscarriage of justice may be carried out if the Iranian authorities go through with this execution. We call on the authorities to immediately quash the death sentence of Mohammad Salas and to order a retrial that meets international fair trial standards without recourse to the death penalty,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at ‎Amnesty International.

    Prison authorities phoned Mohammad Salas’ family on the evening of 16 June and told them to go to Raja’i Shahr prison where he is imprisoned in Karaj, near Tehran, to visit him for the final time at 3.30pm local time on 17 June. This indicates that his execution is imminent, and could happen within days if not hours.

    June 13, 2018

    The arrest of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, is an outrageous attack on a brave and prolific human rights defender, Amnesty International said today.

    Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested at her home in Tehran this morning and transferred to the prosecutor’s office of Evin prison, according to her husband, Reza Khandan.

    In an interview earlier today with Manoto News, a Persian language news channel broadcast from outside Iran, Reza Khandan also revealed that Nasrin Sotoudeh was told she was being arrested to serve a five-year prison sentence. However, neither he nor Nasrin Sotoudeh knew anything about this sentence.

    “Nasrin Sotoudeh has dedicated her life to fighting for human rights in Iran. She has won international awards but has also paid a high price for her courage, spending three years in jail. Her arrest today is the latest example of the Iranian authorities’ vindictive attempts to stop her from carrying out her important work as a lawyer,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at ‎Amnesty International.

    May 28, 2018
    Saeed Malekpour

    By: Nazila Nik

    On June 5, web programmer Saeed Malekpour will turn 43 behind bars in Iran. This will be the 10th birthday he has spent in Evin Prison. He was 33 when arrested and has now spent almost a decade in prison.  Almost a decade. Let it sink in for a minute: A decade without even a single day of furlough.

    Saeed Malekpour was an ordinary immigrant in Canada. He came here, just like thousands of others. Just like me.

    In 2008 he was a permanent resident of Canada, in the prime of his life, with a seemingly bright future in front of him. Then he went back to Iran to see his dying father. It was not the first time that he had travelled back to Iran. But this time, unlike others, he was arrested on street and taken for questioning. That was the beginning of a surreal nightmare that still haunts Saeed and his family a decade later.

    May 25, 2018

    Women prisoners of conscience from Iran’s Gonabadi Dervish religious community are being subjected to verbal abuse, including sexual slurs, and denied proper medical treatment by doctors and other health professionals at Shahr-e Rey prison on the outskirts of Tehran, Amnesty International revealed today.

    The organization has received testimonies indicating that doctors at the prison, a former industrial chicken farm in Varamin, are routinely dismissing the women’s complaints of pain and discomfort as “fake” while refusing to prescribe them medication on a timely basis or carry out thorough diagnostic tests. They are also failing to ensure that medical equipment in the prison clinic is functioning properly and poses no threat to patients’ health.

    May 04, 2018

    The Iranian authorities must stop their ongoing harassment campaign against Raheleh Rahemipour, a 65-year-old human rights defender, who faces trial for a second time in reprisal for a complaint filed with the UN on the enforced disappearance of her brother and his infant daughter, said Amnesty International today.

    Raheleh Rahemipour is due to appear before a Revolutionary Court in Tehran tomorrow, 5 May, on the charge of “spreading propaganda against the system”. This trial is the latest instalment of an ongoing harassment campaign that began in March 2016 after the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances received a complaint concerning the enforced disappearance of Raheleh Rahemipour’s brother Hossein and his infant daughter, Golrou, while they were held in Tehran’s Evin prison between 1983 and 1984.

    May 02, 2018
    Kavous Seyed-Emami

    “You can now see your husband, but there is just one thing – he is dead, having committed suicide in his cell”.

    This is not a line from a fictional story or a movie. This was how authorities informed Maryam Mombeini about the fate of her late husband, Kavous Seyed-Emami and his sudden death while in custody.

     

     

    May 01, 2018

    Ahead of the scheduled execution on Thursday of Ramin Hossein Panahi, a 22-year-old man from Iran’s Kurdish minority who was sentenced to death in January for “taking up arms against the state” after a grossly unfair trial and amid serious torture allegations, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:

    “Ramin Hossein Panahi’s case has been a breathtaking miscarriage of justice from start to finish. After appearing at his trial reportedly bearing torture marks on his body he was convicted in less than an hour.

    “During the investigation period he was denied access to both his lawyer and his family, as well as to any details of the evidence against him. In a complete mockery of the judicial process, intelligence officials also repeatedly pressured him to make a televised ‘confession’ in exchange for the quashing of his death sentence. His refusal to submit to this pressure has seen him languishing in solitary confinement.

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