Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Call for Diplomatic Action to End Executions in Iran

TAKE ACTIONToday, we sent this letter to the Dutch Foreign Minister, Maxime Verhagen. Feel free to add your voice to the letter by printing it out and mailing it or by tweeting this link: http://bit.ly/a8eUiE to @maximeverhagen. Sample tweet: Pls RT @maximeverhagen Oproepen Iraanse Diplomaten http://bit.ly/a8eUiE #united4iran

There is an English template of the letter available at United4Iran and the Dutch version is on unitedriran-nl.org.

February 2, 2010
Amsterdam

Dear Minister Verhagen:

This letter presents a request to summon Iranian diplomats in order to register a strong complaint concerning gross violations of human rights. The government of Iran, which has the second highest number of executions in the world, has stepped up capital punishment for non-capital crimes. The International Campaign for Human Rights reports that the charge of Mohareb (“enemy of God”) is being used to intimidate dissidents, protesters, and opposition. This is particularly urgent at this moment, as the people of Iran prepare to mark the 31st anniversary of the revolution against the Shah on February 11. There is widespread concern that more executions will occur in the coming days as a warning to protesters not to assemble or express their desire for civil and human rights.

Since the contested election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009, defendants have been executed without recourse to a fair trial or meetings with lawyers. These executions are, in fact, murders. The judiciary in Iran is making up the rules and the charges as they go along. Those charges violate basic human rights as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Iran is a signatory. (The specific articles violated are 10, 18, 19, and 20.)

Danger of Mass Executions

For many inside and outside Iran, the mass executions of the late 1980s are a fresh memory. Thousands of people were executed for trumped up charges, some of them after nearly completing prison terms for non-capital offenses. There is a clear danger that history will repeat itself. The difference this time, is that the world is watching. It is imperative that the government of the Netherlands register its disapproval in a strong way.

On 29 January, one day after two political prisoners (Arash Rahmani Pour and Mohammad Ali Zamani) were hanged, the hardline cleric and member of the Guardian Council, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati welcomed these executions. Given his prominent position amongst the ruling elite’s “hardliner” faction, his statement is interpreted as a green light for further political executions. He explicitly stated that if widespread executions had taken place following the post- election unrest, the protests would not have been prolonged. Addressing the head of the Judiciary, Jannati said at Friday prayers in Tehran: “For God’s sake, just as you expedited these two executions, continue on like a man and bravo for these actions.”

Summon Iranian Diplomats

We urge the Dutch Foreign Ministry to summon Iranian diplomats and to register a strong protest against the actions of the Iranian judiciary and government. We ask for calls for the Iranian government to respect the internationally recognized rights of the Iranian people to freedom of assembly, expression, and press. Let the government of Iran know that we want to see an immediate halt to the trials of protesters that are underway and the release of all political prisoners.

Political Prisoners Facing Execution

The number of political prisoners and dissidents sentenced to death is growing daily. During the past month alone four political prisoners were executed: Ehsan Fattahian, Fasih Yasmian, Arash Rahmani Pour, and Mohammad Ali Zamani. At least nine post-election protestors are sentenced to death according to the Iranian Judiciary, although their names have not been announced.

Four members of the student association Daftar-e Tahkim (Office to Foster Unity) and seven members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, as well as many ordinary detained protestors, are facing the charge of Mohareb, or enemy of God, which carries the death sentence. None of these detainees has access to lawyers, and according to brief calls they have made to their families, they are under intense pressure to make false confessions.


At least twenty Kurdish political prisoners are also at risk of imminent execution: Shirin Alam Holi, Zeinab Jalilian, Farzad Kamangar, Habibollah Latifi, Shirkoo Moarefi, Farhad Vakili, Ali Heidarian, Hussein Khazri, Rostam Arkia, Mostafa Salimi, Anvar Rostami, Rashid Akhkandi, Mohammad Amin Agooshi, Ahmad Pooladkhani, Seyed Sami Husseini, Seyed Jamal Mohammadi, Hasan Talei, Iraj Mohammadi, Mohammad Amin Abollahi and Ghader Mohammadzadeh.


We urge you to take strong action and to encourage your colleagues to do so as well.

Sincerely,

1 comment:

Lorena Machuca said...

finally! I hope that brings something...

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