The Iranian authorities must halt the imminent execution of Alireza Tajiki who was arrested as a child, said Amnesty International today, after learning that he was transferred to solitary confinement this morning and is due to be executed in less than 24 hours in Shiraz’s Adel Abad prison.
Alireza Tajiki was just 15 at the time of his arrest and 16 when he was convicted and sentenced to death. He was transferred to solitary confinement in Adel Abad prison in Shiraz, Fars Province, on 9 August. His family were told to come to prison in order to make their final visit. The authorities did not inform his legal representatives, contrary to Iran’s own laws, which require lawyers to be informed of their clients’ scheduled execution at least 48 hours in advance.
Iran’s judicial and security bodies have waged a vicious crackdown against human rights defenders since Hassan Rouhani became president in 2013, demonizing and imprisoning activists who dare to stand up for people’s rights, Amnesty International said in a new report published today.
Caught in a web of repression: Iran’s human rights defenders under attack details how scores of human rights activists – often labelled “foreign agents” and “traitors” by state media – have been prosecuted and jailed on spurious “national security” charges, dealing a crushing blow to hopes of human rights reform raised during President Hassan Rouhani’s first election campaign. Some activists have been sentenced to more than 10 years behind bars for simple acts such as being in contact with the UN, EU or human rights organizations including Amnesty International.
The group calling itself Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for today’s suicide bombing and gun attack at parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini, the first Leader of Islamic Republic, which killed a number of people and injured dozens in Tehran. In response, Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said:
“The coordinated attack today at parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum was a brutal and deliberate assault on civilians carried out in cold blood. There can never be a justification for targeting civilians. The group calling itself Islamic State (IS) has again displayed its utter contempt for human life and fundamental principles of humanity.
“The Iranian authorities must promptly carry out an impartial and independent investigation into this attack and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials, without violating the absolute prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment and without recourse to the death penalty as punishment.”
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The desecration of a mass grave site in Ahvaz, southern Iran that contains the remains of at least 44 people who were extrajudicially executed would destroy vital forensic evidence and scupper opportunities for justice for the mass prisoner killings that took place across the country in 1988, said Amnesty International and Justice for Iran.
Photo and video evidence obtained by the NGO Justice for Iran and reviewed by Amnesty International shows bulldozers working on a construction project directly alongside the mass grave site at Ahvaz, as well as piles of dirt and construction debris surrounding the grave. Although the Iranian authorities have made no official announcements about Ahvaz, families learned through a construction worker that the plan is to ultimately raze the concrete block marking the grave site and build over the area.
Iran has demonstrated its utter disregard for children’s rights by executing a man arrested for a crime committed while he was 16 years old in a brazen violation of international human rights law, said Amnesty International.
The man, who has been identified in state media only by the name “Asqar”, was sentenced to death by public hanging nearly 30 years ago. He was executed at Karaj’s Central Prison near Tehran on 23 May 2017.
“With this execution, the Iranian authorities’ repeated claims to the UN and EU that they are moving away from the use of death penalty against juvenile offenders ring horrifically hollow. It is absolutely appalling that two decades after it ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran continues to display such a chilling disregard for children’s rights,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
In response to today’s release of Iranian Kurdish human rights defender and journalist Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Magdalena Mughrabi said:
“The release of Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand today, after a decade-long ordeal in prison, is long overdue. He was wrongfully imprisoned on trumped up charges and it is utterly deplorable that he was forced to spend the past 10 years of his life behind bars. His case is yet another illustration of the extreme lengths to which the Iranian authorities will go to criminalize the legitimate work of human rights defenders and journalists.”
Throughout his time in prison, Mohammad Sadiq Kabduvand’s health sharply deteriorated. He suffered from heart and kidney problems and rarely received adequate medical treatment.
“The Iranian authorities have a decade of appalling injustice against Mohamed Sadiq Kabduvand to make up for. They can make a start by quashing his conviction and ensuring that he is free to continue his peaceful human rights and journalistic activities,” said Magdalena Mughrabi.
A call for appeals for Keywan's release was sent to the Urgent Action Network on January 22 2016.
Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi was released from Tehran’s Evin prison on 19 April 2017. He had been imprisoned since 23 November 2016. Keywan Karimi was a prisoner of conscience.
Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi, a member of Iran’s Kurdish minority, was released on 19 April 2017 after spending nearly five months in prison. According to an interview given by his lawyer, Amir Raeisian, to the Saat24 (24 Hours) news website on 19 April 2017, Keywan Karimi was released after the Office of the Prosecutor and Branch 54 of the Court of Appeal in Tehran agreed to grant him a conditional release. He will be under probation until the end of October 2017. His flogging sentence of 223 lashes can be enforced at any time and his five-year suspended prison sentence remains in place.
Amnesty International sent Salar Shadizadi's case as an Urgent Action on July 27th 2015.
By Vida Mehrannia
Web programmer Saeed Malekpour, is a permanent resident of Canada and Iranian national. He has been imprisoned in Iran since his arrest in October 2008. In late 2010 he was initially sentenced to death for “spreading corruption on earth” in relation to a web programme he created for uploading photos which the Iranian authorities said was used on pornographic websites. . His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2012.
During his imprisonment he has been held in solitary confinment and he reports he was tortured into making a false confession.
It is alleged a web based program he developed was used to post pornographic images to the internet. Saeed Malekpour has denied all knowledge of the program being used for this purpose.
The Iranian authorities must urgently stop the imminent execution of two long-time death row prisoners who were children at the time of their arrest, Amnesty International said today.
One of the men, Mehdi Bahlouli, is due to be executed tomorrow morning in Karaj’s Raja’i Shahr Prison, after more than 15 years on death row. He was sentenced to death by a criminal court in Tehran in November 2001 for fatally stabbing a man during a fight. He was 17 at the time of the crime.
The execution of the second man, Peyman Barandah, is scheduled to take place just three weeks later, on 10 May, in Shiraz Central Prison, Fars Province. He was arrested at the age of 16 and spent nearly five years on death row, after being convicted in August 2012, also for stabbing a teenager to death during a fight.
“Carrying out the executions of these two young men would be an outrageous breach of international human rights law that would cement Iran’s position as one of the world’s top executors of juvenile offenders,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Iranian journalist Hengameh Shahidi is in a critical condition in Tehran’s Evin prison. She has been on hunger strike in protest at her arrest on 9 March. She has a heart condition and is refusing her medication. She is being held in solitary confinement and has been denied access to a lawyer.
The health of journalist and political activist Hengameh Shahidi, aged 41, has seriously deteriorated since she went on hunger strike on 9 March 2017 in protest at her arbitrary arrest the same day. She has a pre-existing heart condition, for which she was previously hospitalized, and needs ongoing medical care, including medication. Her heart condition is exacerbated when she is under stress. At the beginning of April, she stopped taking her medication and is also refusing intravenous fluids.
On March 8 Amnesty Internatonal members from Group 46 in Peterbourough hosted their annual fundraising and awareness dinner. This year their special guests were former Iranian-Canadian prisoner, Hamid Ghassemi Shall and his wife Antoella Mega. Amnesty International members across Canada campaigned for years for Hamid's release from prison and return to Canada. Hamid now campaigns for others, particularly Saeed Malekpour, a permanent resident of Canada now detained in Iran.
Read about Group 46's event and their work to support human rights.
Human Rights’ Groups Play Vital Role, Says Former Iranian Prisoner