August 16 2011: In an interview with Rooz Online, Abdolreza Ghanbari's wife, Sakineh Jabeiee, denies the news of her husband's imminent execution and says she and her children are hopeful that his appeal will be successful. Ms. Jabeiee was able to meet with her husband on Monday, August 15 and says his case is still before the Appeals and Clemency Commission. She further goes on to ask concerned activists not to spread false rumors of his connection with the MEK and suggests the group may be exploiting Mr. Ghanbari's case for their own agenda. English translation of the interview and the original Persian-language version are available.
13 August 2011: Abdolreza Ghanbari's appeal for clemency has been rejected and the case has been forwarded to the implementation division of the Revolutionary Court. He is considered in imminent danger of execution and the sentence may be carried out at any time.
11 May 2010: Abdolreza Ghanbari's death sentence was upheld in Appeals Court on April 27, 2010. We have assembled a sample letter regarding his case and contact information for Iranian officials. A petition has also been organized to save Abdolreza Ghanbari's life.
Abdolreza Ghanbari was sentenced to death as Mohareb (a politically-motivated religious charge that means "warring against God") for his participation in the 2009 Ashura protests. Ghanbari is a teacher from Ghiamdasht, in Varamin, and participated in the Ashura protests by chanting slogans against the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. His family has little knowledge about the charges, trial, and Ghanbari's condition.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported that Ghanbari was denied access to legal counsel and was unable to present a defense with the aid of an attorney, if at all.
His arrest and arbitrary detention are a violation of Article 9 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UHDR). In countries that still use the death penalty as an abhorrent punishment, it may only be imposed "for the most serious crimes," according to Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Ghanbari is presently held in the General Ward at Evin Prison in Tehran. Prior to his sham of a trial on 30 January 2010, he was detained in an IRGC Intelligence prison, the '2-A' Security Ward. Torture and other human rights violations are commonplace in such secret and tightly-controlled detention centers. A source close to the case told the Campaign that Ghanbari was tortured in an attempt to pressure him into confessing to participation in the protests. Torture is a violation of the UDHR, as stated by Article 5: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." This is also guaranteed by Article 7 of the ICCPR. The right to a fair trial is provided under Article 10 of the UDHR. Under Article 14 of the ICCPR, Abdolreza Ghanbari is guaranteed a fair and public trial, examination of witnesses against him, and is protected from having to falsely testify or confess to the charges against him. Iran is a signatory to both the UDHR and the ICCPR.
A petition has been organized to save Abdolreza Ghanbari's life.