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    September 25, 2013

    The Iranian authorities must urgently halt the execution of six men on death row in Ghezel Hesar Prison near Tehran. Two of them have been transferred to solitary confinement today sparking fears they are at imminent risk of execution Amnesty International said.

    Hamed Ahmadi and Sedigh Mohammadi are among six Sunni Muslim men from Iran’s Kurdish minority who were sentenced to death after being convicted of vaguely-worded offences including “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth”.

    “The news of the transfer of two Iranian men to solitary confinement indicate the worst for the men. It is known as the execution waiting room for inmates sentenced to death,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    “The death penalty is the ultimate cruel and inhuman punishment. For decades Iranian authorities have issued death sentences ruthlessly and on a regular basis.”

    September 24, 2013

    Amnesty International welcomes the news that Canadian-Iranian dual national Hamid Ghassemi-Shall was released from Evin prison in Iran on 23 September 2013.

    Ghassemi-Shall was arrested 24 May 2008 while visiting his elderly mother in Iran. His older brother, Alborz Ghassemi-Shall, had been arrested about two weeks earlier. Both brothers were held in solitary confinement without legal representation, in Tehran’s Evin prison for 18 months. On 29 December 2008 both men were sentenced to death following an unfair trial by a Revolutionary Court. They were convicted of moharebeh (enmity against God) for espionage and cooperation with the proscribed People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). In November 2009 the brothers were transferred to a section of the prison holding other prisoners.

    September 24, 2013

    After more than five years in prison, and with an execution order on his life, Hamid has been released from prison in Iran!

    Tens of thousands of Canadians have worked together for this outcome, through tireless campaigning, personal letters of hope sent to Hamid, petitions, emails, talks in community centres, and simple word-of-mouth. Officials and government representatives in Canada added their voice, calling for Hamid's release in Parliament.

    Thank you to Amnesty International supporters in Canada and around the world for what you've helped accomplish.

    Hamid's Story:

    September 20, 2013

    The Iranian authorities must urgently halt the execution of four Sunni Muslim men from Iran’s Kurdish minority who could be executed within days, Amnesty International said.

    “The death penalty is a cruel and inhuman punishment and represents a flagrant violation of human rights. The death sentences of these men must be immediately revoked and a re-trial in line with international standards must be ordered,” said Hassiba Hadj Saharoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    September 19, 2013

    An Amnesty International poster purporting to show the Iranian human rights activist, Narges Mohammadi, incorrectly depicts an Iranian actress of the same name.

    The incorrect image was intended to be used at an exhibition about female human rights activists in Iran held near Munich, Germany in November 2012.

    As soon as Amnesty International became aware of the mistake, the image was withdrawn and labelled a ‘misprint’.

    This month the incorrect image has been circulated on social media.

    Amnesty International apologizes for the mistake and any offence caused.

    The organization has campaigned on her behalf of Narges Mohammadi, the Executive chairperson of Iran’s Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) who was convicted in 2011 for “propaganda against the system”, and membership of a group “whose object is to disturb the security of the country.”

    She was granted temporary medical leave from prison in July 2012.

     

    September 18, 2013

    Amnesty International welcomes the release of prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, and at least 11 political activists. 
     

    UPDATE: OCTOBER, 2014
    A year after Nasrin's release from prison, the Disciplinary Tribunal for Lawyers ruled that Nasrin could continue practicing law, which had been her wish upon release. She has received a full pardon from the authorities and is able to resume her work!

    “While the releases are a positive development, they must be a first step that paves the way for the release of all prisoners of conscience held solely because they peacefully exercised their rights,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced, in September 2010, to six years in prison on charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “acting against national security”, including membership of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD).

    September 18, 2013

    Amnesty International welcomes the release of prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, and at least 11 political activists.  

    “While the releases are a positive development, they must be a first step that paves the way for the release of all prisoners of conscience held solely because they peacefully exercised their rights,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced, in September 2010, to six years in prison on charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “acting against national security”, including membership of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD).

    Amnesty International adopted her as a prisoner of conscience and has campaigned for her immediate and unconditional release.

    August 30, 2013

    An Iranian prisoner of conscience and blogger on hunger strike to protest his unfair detention must be released immediately and unconditionally to receive treatment as his health deteriorates, Amnesty International said.

    Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, 28, is serving a 15-year prison sentence for “membership of the [illegal] internet group ‘Iran Proxy’”, “spreading propaganda against the system” and “insulting the Leader and the President”, among other charges.

    “Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s worsening health is extremely worrying and despite repeated requests by his parents, the Iranian authorities are refusing to release him or even grant him temporary leave,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.
    .
    “Not only have the authorities unfairly put him behind bars simply for expressing his views on his blog but they are now also jeopardizing his health and ultimately his life by not allowing him to receive the medical care he urgently needs”

    August 02, 2013

    The Iranian authorities must seize the opportunity presented by a change of leadership to fulfil the aspirations of many Iranians and undertake a complete overhaul of human rights in the country, said Amnesty International ahead of the inauguration of the new President this weekend.  
     
    Hassan Rouhani, the 64-year old cleric who has been described as a moderate, will be sworn in as President on Sunday 4 August 2013. Amnesty International has published a set of recommendations to the Iranian authorities, setting out a road map to address the abysmal human rights situation in the country.

    "For too long Iran has failed to live up to its human rights obligations under domestic and international law. After years of repression and international isolation, the Iranian authorities must stop posturing and acknowledge the severity of human rights violations in the country,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    June 17, 2013

    The victory of Hassan Rouhani, a 64-year-old cleric, in Iran’s presidential election, presents a new opportunity to address human rights abuses in the country, Amnesty International said today.

    Hassan Rouhani, described as a moderate and a pragmatist, made a number of pledges to improve Iran’s dire human rights record during his electoral campaign, for which he must be held accountable in the coming months.

    He plans to issue a “civil rights charter” which calls for equality for all citizens without discrimination based on race, religion or sex. It also calls for greater freedom for political parties and minorities, as well as ensuring the right to fair trial, freedom of assembly and legal protection for all.  

    “The proposed charter – if delivered and implemented - presents the potential for a decisive first step forward for human rights in Iran,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Program Director.

    June 12, 2013

    Iran’s authorities have intensified the clampdown on dissidents ahead of the country’s presidential election on 14 June, Amnesty International said in a new briefing published today.

    The briefing, Iran: Repression of dissent intensifies in run-up to presidential elections, documents dozens of arbitrary arrests and other human rights abuses in the run-up to election day, targeting journalists, political activists, trade unionists, advocates of greater rights for Iran’s religious and ethnic minorities, and students.

    “The escalation in repression is an outrageous attempt by the Iranian authorities to silence critics ahead of the presidential election,” said Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    “The surge in recent violations underlines Iran’s continued and brazen flouting of human rights standards through its persecution of political dissidents and betrays the glaring absence of a meaningful human rights discourse in the election campaign.”

    May 17, 2013

    Iran’s ban on female presidential candidates contradicts several articles of the country’s Constitution as well as international law and should be removed, Amnesty International said.

    Mohammad Yazdi, a clerical member of Iran’s Council of Guardians, a constitutional body responsible for ensuring that legislation adheres to Iran’s Constitution, as interpreted by Iran’s religious scholars and Islamic law, and for vetting presidential candidates has announced that Iranian laws “do not allow women to become presidents”.

    Thirty women have registered to stand as candidates for the forthcoming presidential election on 14 June 2013. Women were previously prevented from standing in presidential elections, but there was a chance that the Council could have overturned that situation this time.

    The ban on women to run for presidency contradicts a number of articles of Iran’s Constitution, which say there should be equality for all citizens before the law and require respect for the rights of women. It is also in clear breach of Iran’s international human rights obligations.

    April 09, 2013

    By Aubrey Harris, Coordinator for the Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty

    My Neighbour: Hamid Ghassemi-Shall

    I live in Toronto's east end, a neighbourhood known as Leslieville. It's between The Beach and Riverdale (where Degrassi was set). My neighbourhood is typically urban. There are a lot of streetcars, buses and older houses. The local elementary school is old enough to have an honour roll of former students who paid with their lives during the Great War and World War II. I didn't grow up here (I grew up in London, ON) - but I quite like this neighbourhood - and I've lived in a few around Toronto.

    February 13, 2013

    (Beirut, London, Paris, 13 February 2013) - The Iranian authorities should immediately release from arbitrary house arrest two former presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard, author and political activist, and cease harassing or detaining without cause the couple’s two daughters and Mehdi Karroubi’s son, said the Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and six leading human rights bodies.

    Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, International Federation for Human Rights, League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran, and Reporters Without Borders co-signed today’s appeal.

    January 30, 2013

    The Iranian authorities must release journalists arrested in the past three days and accused of cooperating with "anti-revolutionary" Persian-language media organizations outside Iran, Amnesty International said.

    The organization believes further waves of arrests are planned. Underpinning this fear is today’s arrest of Bahar Newspaper Economics Editor, Ali Dehghan.

    A statement attributed to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence declares: “The investigation will be continued until the last individual linked to this network is arrested and the propaganda of the foreign media and so-called human rights organizations and the statements… no longer have influence on the strong will of the soldiers of Emam e-Zaman [Ministry of Intelligence officials].”

    “Today’s statement by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence is intended to intimidate Iranian journalists who have contact with non-government sources,” said Drewery Dyke, Amnesty International’s Iran researcher.

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