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    October 05, 2015
    Amnesty International petitions for Mohammad Ali Taheri

    On 1 August 2015 Mohammad Ali Taheri was sentenced to death in Iran for ‘spreading corruption on earth”

    His family in Canada live in shock and fear that the life of their son and brother could be brutally taken from them for nothing more than the peaceful expression of his beliefs.  The Taheri family in Canada have been cautious about making public statements.  For years they have lived in the hope that Mohammad Ali Taheri would be set free from his nightmare of imprisonment, solitary confinement and interrogation. They don’t want to do anything to jeopardize his safety and well-being. Now a death sentence is threatening to take away their loved family member and they are beginning to speak publicly.

    October 02, 2015

    The trial of satirical cartoonist Atena Farghadani and her lawyer on a charge of “illegitimate sexual relations falling short of adultery” after they shook hands is not only absurd and extreme but clearly politically motivated, said Amnesty International ahead of the General Criminal Court session starting tomorrow in Tehran.

    Both Atena Farghadani, whom Amnesty International regards as a prisoner of conscience, and her lawyer Mohammad Moghimi may face up to 99 lashes if found guilty. The organization believes the cartoonist and activist has been detained solely for exercising her right to freedom of expression.

    “It is clearly both absurd and a violation of the right to privacy to consider a man and a woman shaking hands as a criminal offence,” said Raha Bahreini, Amnesty International’s researcher.

    September 07, 2015

    The Iranian authorities must immediately halt the execution of Mahmoud Barati, a teacher who was convicted of drug-related offences following an unfair trial that is believed to have included a confession obtained through torture and other ill-treatment, Amnesty International said.
    According to contacts in Ghezel Hesar prison, Mahmoud Barati has been transferred to solitary confinement and is scheduled to be executed at dawn tomorrow morning (8 September 2015).

    “Mahmoud Barati’s execution must immediately be halted. International law does not allow for the use of death penalty for drug-related offences. The Iranian authorities must immediately quash his death sentence,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.

    “The Iranian authorities must end their unprecedented killing spree – more than 700 people have been executed so far this year, most of them convicted on drug-related charges.”

    August 31, 2015

    Narges Mohammadi has been in and out of prison for more than a decade for her support of human rights in Iran. Three months after her most recent imprisonment, she wrote this personal letter from jail on what it means to be apart from her children.

     

    MY TWINS WERE BORN ON 28 NOVEMBER 2006

    I was not allowed to hold my son Ali and my daughter Kiana when they were born because of my poor health. I was only able to see them through the door of the hospital room. It seems as if their fate was to be apart from me from birth. When I held them for the first time, all the scars from the caesarean, the difficulties I had breathing, the fear of death and all the pain were forgotten. I had become a mother.

    WHEN KIANA AND ALI WERE THREE YEARS AND SIX MONTHS OLD

    August 26, 2015

    Behrouz Alkhani, a 30-year-old man from Iran’s Kurdish minority, was executed early this morning local time, said Amnesty International, despite the fact that he was awaiting the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal.

    The organization has also learned that the authorities have so far refused to return Behrouz Alkhani’s body to his family.

    “Today's execution of Behrouz Alkhani, who was still waiting for the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal against his sentence, is a vicious act of cruelty by the Iranian authorities and a denigration of both Iranian and international law. It is appalling that they have imposed further pain and suffering on Behrouz Alkhani’s family by refusing to return his body for burial," said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    August 25, 2015

    Behrouz Alkhani, a 30-year-old man from Iran’s Kurdish minority has been transferred out of Oroumieh prison’s general ward and placed in solitary confinement in preparation for his execution tomorrow, despite the fact that he’s still awaiting the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal, said Amnesty International.

    “The Iranian authorities must urgently halt Behrouz Alkhani’s execution. Carrying out a death sentence while a prisoner is awaiting the outcome of his appeal is a serious violation of both Iranian and international law, and is an affront to justice,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

    “Behrouz Alkhani faced a grossly unfair trial where basic safeguards such as the right to access a lawyer were ignored. He also says he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated in custody. The authorities must immediately stop this execution and grant him a fair retrial, in proceedings that are in line with international standards, without delay.

    August 18, 2015

    The Iranian authorities must end the farcical waiting game for the verdict in the case of Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian, and release him immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience, Amnesty International said today.

    The call comes after a spokesperson for Iran's Judiciary said the charges against the Washington Post journalist - including espionage and “spreading propaganda against the system” – are not related to journalism. United Nations experts are among others around the world who have called on the Iranian authorities to release him.

    “After subjecting Jason Rezaian to nearly one year in pre-trial detention - over six of them in solitary confinement with no access to a lawyer - it is a further affront to justice to keep him behind bars for even one more day. He had been working legally and openly as a journalist in Iran and his prosecution is clearly motivated by an attempt to crush independent reporting in the country,” said Said Boumedouha, Acting Program Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

    August 07, 2015

    The Iranian authorities must immediately halt the implementation of a death sentence for juvenile offender Salar Shadizadi, and ensure that a new request for a judicial review made by his lawyers earlier this week is granted without delay, said Amnesty International.

    The execution of Salar Shadizadi, who was jailed and sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was just 15 years old, was originally scheduled for 1 August and then postponed to 10 August after an international outcry.

    “Carrying out the execution of Salar Shadizadi would be a deeply tragic blow to Iran’s obligations under international human rights law, which strictly prohibits the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by persons under the age of 18. To carry out an execution while a judicial review of the case is being sought would also be a slap in the face of justice,” said Said Boumedouha, Acting Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

    July 29, 2015

    A juvenile offender in Iran is at imminent risk of execution amid a horrifying rise in the number of executions in the country, Amnesty International said today.
    Salar Shadizadi, who is now 24, is due to be hanged on Saturday 1 August, after he was convicted of murdering a friend in 2007. He was 15 years old at the time of the offence.

    “To execute Salar Shadizadi, who was a child at the time of his arrest, flies in the face of international law. The Iranian authorities must immediately halt any plans to carry out the execution and ensure that Salar Shadizadi’s death sentence is commuted without delay,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    “The Iranian authorities’ pledges to respect children’s rights ring disturbingly hollow when they plan the execution of a juvenile offender just months before Iran’s review session at the UN Committee on the Rights of the Chid.”

    July 23, 2015

    Released 8AM BST Thursday 23 July 2015

    The Iranian authorities are believed to have executed an astonishing 694 people between 1 January and 15 July 2015, said Amnesty International today, in an unprecedented spike in executions in the country.

    This is equivalent to executing more than three people per day. At this shocking pace, Iran is set to surpass the total number of executions in the country recorded by Amnesty International for the whole of last year.

    “Iran’s staggering execution toll for the first half of this year paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    “If Iran’s authorities maintain this horrifying execution rate we are likely to see more than 1,000 state-sanctioned deaths by the year’s end.”

    July 13, 2015

    An Iranian juvenile offender whose fate and whereabouts had been unknown since he was due to be executed in February was able to call his relatives from prison over the weekend, ending five months of unbearable suffering by his loved ones, who did not know what had happened to him, Amnesty International revealed.

      SAMAN NASEEM:
    Not executed as feared, entitled to re-trial      

    Saman Naseem, 21, was sentenced to death in April 2013 after a deeply flawed trial that relied on self-incriminating evidence extracted under torture. The day before he was due to be executed, he was transferred to an unknown location, which has now been confirmed to be Zanjan Prison, north-west of Tehran. Neither his family nor lawyers were given any concrete information about his whereabouts until now.

    June 19, 2015

    The Iranian authorities must urgently commute the death sentence of Ehsan Shah Ghasemi, a 24-year-old man who faces imminent execution amid a flawed trial that cast overwhelming doubts over his guilt, said Amnesty International.

    Ehsan Shah Ghasemi was sentenced to death for stabbing Ali Khalili in the neck in July 2011, causing injuries that allegedly led to his death almost three years later in April 2014. The Supreme Court approved Ehsan Shah Ghasemi’s execution despite the absence of any conclusive evidence that the stab wound caused Ali Khalili’s death. The Chief Justice of Iran is expected to endorse the death sentence in the next few days.

    June 02, 2015

    The sentencing of Iranian artist and activist Atena Farghadani to more than 12 years in prison – far in excess of the statutory maximum punishment for the charges she faced – is a terrible injustice, and a violation her rights to free expression and association, Amnesty International said.

    This case follows the sentencing last month of Atena Daemi, another Iranian woman, to more than a decade in prison – also on charges stemming from her peaceful activism. Both are prisoners of conscience and must be freed immediately.

    “Atena Farghadani has effectively been punished for her cartoons with a sentence that is itself a gross caricature of justice. No one should be in jail for their art or peaceful activism,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    “Such harsh and unjust sentences seem to be part of a disturbing trend in Iran, where the cost of voicing peaceful dissent is escalating, with punishments even worse than those issued in the post-2009 election crackdown.”

    May 14, 2015

    Released 00:01 BST 15 May 2015

    A 24-year-old man is at imminent risk of execution, for a crime which took place while he was below 18 years of age, despite the fact that his case is currently under judicial review, said Amnesty International, urging the Iranian authorities to halt all plans to implement the sentence.

    The organization has been warned that the execution of Hamid Ahmadi, who was convicted of fatally stabbing a man during a group fight that took place when he was 16 years old, could be imminent even though the Supreme Court has confirmed that an application for a review of his case is currently being processed.  

    May 08, 2015

    Iranian security forces must refrain from using excessive and unnecessary force in the policing of protests, Amnesty International urged after police in riot gear dispersed a demonstration in the Kurdish-populated city of Mahabad, West Azerbaijan province, on 7 May.

    Officials have today confirmed that at least 25 people, including seven police officers, were injured in the ensuing clashes last night.

    There are fears of a renewed police crackdown amid reports of arrests and after further demonstrations were called.

    “After last night’s violence, tensions are running high in Mahabad and other Kurdish-majority towns and cities. Law enforcement officials have the right to defend themselves and a duty to protect the safety of the public, but they must comply with international standards governing the use of force in their policing of any further protests,” said Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Middle East and North Africa.

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