Thursday, March 04, 2010

UPDATED: Letter to halt executions: In support of Mohammad Amin Valian

UPDATE: United4Iran has launched a letter writing campaign and has translated this letter into several languages.

This is the letter I wrote to send to Iranian diplomats to protest the harsh penalties against protesters. I used Greenmail to send it. Please use it if you want:

Since the contested election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009, defendants have been executed without recourse to a fair trial or meetings with lawyers. They have been charged with crimes such as Mohareb (“enemy of God”) to justify extreme penalties. These executions are, in fact, murders. The judiciary and the revolutionary courts in Iran are reinterpreting rules and applying severe punishments for activities that are not even considered crimes under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Iran is a signatory. (The specific articles violated are 10, 18, 19, and 20.)

There is widespread concern that more executions will occur in the coming months as a warning to protesters not to assemble or express their desire for civil and human rights. On March 3, we heard that the courts have upheld a death penalty for the student, Mohammad Amin Valian. This young man could be your son, brother, nephew, cousin, or friend. He comes from a deeply religious family and was active in the university’s Islamic Student Association. He is being punished for participating in demonstrations. His only crime is imagining that he could express himself openly and honestly. Even if you believe he was mistaken in his expressions, you cannot believe that he deserves to die or be imprisoned.

We urge you to take the words of the poet Saadi to heart:

The sons of Adam are limbs of each other,
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time affects one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If thou hast no sympathy for the troubles of others
Thou art unworthy to be called by the name of a human.

Bani aadam aazaye yek digarand
ke dar aafarinesh ze yek gooharand

cho ozvi be dard aavarad roozegaar
degar ozvhaa raa namaanad gharaar

to kaz mehnate digaraan bi ghami
nashaayad ke naamat nahand aadami

Lodge a protest. Remember that the whole world feels the pain of this young man and his family. In your heart, you must as well. Make yourself heard. Help us stop this execution. Help us make sure that all prisoners of conscience are released safely. With your help, Iran can become the nation its people deserve.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


My friend in Iran asked why no one cares about Mohamad Amin Valian, whose RIDICULOUS death sentence was upheld today. Can you imagine being convicted to death for throwing a stone during a demonstration? One that did not hit or target anyone or anything? This is the regime's recipe for squelching dissent:

12-20 protesters
1 cleric to significantly alter the definition of Mohareb (enemy of God)
1 judge with no humanity


1. Take the young people who have gone out in the streets
2. Make sure that they have no famous relatives
3. Charge them with the crime of "Mohareb" (enemy of God)
4. Sentence them to slow and painful suffocation until they die
5. Execute enough of them so that parents lock their youth in their rooms until they turn 40


Aaron Rhodes of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran states, “It's an attempt to intimidate other students, other young people like him, who just want to exercise their basic human rights and their political rights," Rhodes says. "Any number of others could be similarly accused, convicted, and face being hung.”

Mohammad Amin Valian was an active member of his University’s Islamic student association. He campaigned for Mir Hossein Mousavi and was targeted by his university’s Basiji-run newspaper according to the Green Voice of Freedom.

What can we do to stop this execution? Here is what the Green Voice of Freedom is advocating:
Save Mohammad Amin Valian from execution1) Temporarily change your profile pictures on social networking websites such as facebook and twitter, in order to raise awareness about Mohammad Valian’s death sentence.

2) If you have a weblog, website or other means for spreading the news about Mohammad Amin’s ordeal, we would like to urge you to help in spreading the news about this ridiculous court ruling in the shortest time possible. Remember, the life of a fellow human being is at stake.

3) We would also like to ask any person, organisation or figure that has access to Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi in any way, to inform him of the death sentence and how his statements are being misused by judicial authorities and to cause him to intervene in the matter, in order to prevent further disgrace and shame to the clerical rule in Iran. This is his website:

4) Further, if you are in any way able to contact any official or representative in the Islamic Republic or the Iranian Judicial system, we would like to ask you to do your best in echoing the concerns and voices of the Valian family who can at any moment lose their loved one to a corrupt and dysfunctional judiciary system. This link allows us to write to Iranian embassies and diplomatic missions around the world, and to plead the case of Mohammad Amin Alavian: