Please write to Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for the Office of Human Rights and Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations regarding Jafar Kazemi's case, asking for his sentence to be overturned and his unconditional release. A sample letter you can use, or modify, follows.
On 30 April 2010, Amnesty International released an Urgent Action Alert regarding Jafar Kazemi, a death-row prisoner in Iran believed to be at risk of imminent execution. Please write to the following officials using regarding this case (please refer to him as "Jafar Kazemi, son of Bahman" in your appeals, as this will help the authorities to identify him) as follows. You can use our sample letter or write your own:
Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for the Office of Human Rights
Fax: +41-22-917-9008 (Geneva) +1-212-963-4097 (NY)
His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations
Fax: 212-963-7055 (You can send a fax for free online here), Tel: 1-212-963-7160, 61, 62
You can send a free online fax here.
Dear Ms. Pillay/Mr. Ban Ki-Moon:
I am writing to you regarding the case of Jafar Kazemi, a Iranian political prisoner sentenced to death for participation in protests following the June 12, 2009 Presidential elections, and at risk of imminent execution.
Mr. Kazemi was arrested after Quds Day protests on 18 or 19 September 2009. He was tried in Branch 28 of Revolutionary Court and sentenced to death for Mohareb, or "enmity against God" and can be executed at any time. His lawyer has had limited access to Jafar. Although his lawyer filed an appeal with the Judiciary, the sentence was upheld and finalized on 28 April 2010 and sent to enforcement on 29 July. Mr. Kazemi was charged and convicted of "propaganda" against the Iranian government and was harshly interrogated and pressured in prison to make a televised confession, which he refused. In a letter to the UN's secretary general urging the UN to take action, Kazemi's wife described his brutal treatment in prison.
Jafar Kazemi's conviction and death sentence is likely a direct result of two things: his participation in the 18 September Quds protests, and his son's affiliation with PMOI, also known as MEK or MKO. Jafar Kazemi should not be held responsible for his son's affiliation, and political views are never justificiation for execution.
Given the above, I ask that you use any means in your power to obtain the following for Jafar Kazemi:
- if an imminent execution is planned, that it be immediately halted;
- for his death sentence to be overturned on the grounds that he was harshly interrogated and tortured;
-that he be granted a new trial if charges against him remain, with access to legal counsel, a public hearing by an impartial tribunal and protection from torture or coerced confessions as laid out in the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Politicial Rights) and UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
-if no valid charges remain, that he be immediately and unconditionally released from prison.
We also request that you:
-urge the Iranian authorities to commute all death sentences in Iran, including any imposed in connection with the post-election protests;
-remind the Iranian authorities that the ICCPR, to which Iran is a state party, states that the death penalty can only be carried out for “the most serious crimes”, which the Human Rights Committee has clarified must be “intentional crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences."
Jafar Kazemi's case has been forwarded to the implementation stage and we are concerned about the imminent risk to his life. We ask that you force the Islamic Republic of Iran to comply with international law and norms, abide by treaties that the UN places its name on, and act to save his life.
We also urge you to appeal to Iranian authorities.