6 Prisoners in Danger of Execution: Action Alert and Sample Letter to Iranian Authorities

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On 1 Aug 2010, it was announced that the death sentences of six political prisoners in Iran, for whom Amnesty International had previously released an Urgent Action Alert, had been upheld and sent to enforcement. Please write immediately to Iranian authorities to save their lives. We have assembled a sample letter regarding these six cases. We also urge you to write to the United Nations on these prisoners' behalf.

If you write your own letter please include the following:

- Request an immediate stay of execution for Abdolreza Ghanbari, Jafar Kazemi (son of Bahman), Mohammad-Ali Haj-Aghaie, Ahmad Daneshpour Moghadam, Mohsen Daneshpour Moghadam, and Mohammad Ali Saremi;

- Urge the authorities to commute all death sentences in Iran, including any imposed in connection with the post-election protests;

- Remind the Iranian authorities that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 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."

Write to:

Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info_leader@leader.ir
via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter (English)
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani


Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran, 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: Via website: http://www.dadiran.ir/tabid/75/Default.aspx
First starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani


Bureau of International Affairs, Office of the Head of the Judiciary, Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: bia.judi@yahoo.com
Fax: + 98 21 5 537 8827 (please keep trying)
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.


Your Excellency,

I am writing to you regarding the cases of six political prisoners on death row thought to be in danger of imminent execution: Abdolreza Ghanbari, Jafar Kazemi (son of Bahman), Mohammad-Ali Haj-Aghaie, Ahmad Daneshpour Moghadam, Mohsen Daneshpour Moghadam, and Mohammad Ali Saremi. On August 1 it was announced that their death sentences, upheld by the Appeals Court, had been sent to the Enforcement Division.

Abdolreza Ghanbari, a 42-year old teacher from Ghiamdasht, in Varamin, was sentenced to death on charges of Moharebeh based on his supposed crime of chanting "Death to the dictator" - during the 2009 Ashura protests. He is currently being held in Evin Prison, but was previously held in an IRGC Intelligence prison, the '2-A' Security Ward.

Jafar Kazemi was arrested on September 18, 2009 in connection with the post-election protests and, though not accused of any violent act, was sentenced to death as Moharebeh and for “propaganda about the system” due to his participation in Qods protests and son’s involvement with the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MKO, PMOI, or MEK). He was harshly interrogated and pressured in Evin prison to make a televised confession, which he refused.

Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei is presumably being held in Evin Prison in Tehran.  He was also arrested on September 18, 2010 and sentenced to death as Moharebeh for connections with MEK and propaganda against the Iranian government.

Ahmad Daneshpour and his son, Mohsen, were also arrested after Ashura protests and are sentenced to death for alleged ties with MEK.  Their death sentences were upheld by an appellate court in April and they are presumed to be detained in Evin Prison.

Ali Saremi, age 62, has been arrested at least four times in the last 30 years.  Mr. Saremi was sentenced to death on 29 December 2009 after being detained for 28 months. He is currently held in Ward 4 of Raja’i Shahr Prison, also known as Gohardasht, in Karaj.  Mr. Saremi is also being denied proper medical treatment and access to his necessary medications.

Many or all of these prisoners were denied access to legal counsel and were unable to present a defense with the aid of an attorney. The right to a fair trial is provided under Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Under Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), any prisoner 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 treaties and must fulfill its obligations under international law by granting these persons a fair trial with legal representation.

Furthermore, there is evidence that these prisoners may have been subjected to torture during their pre-trial detention. 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.

Finally, in countries that still use the death penalty as an punishment, it may only be imposed "for the most serious crimes," according to Article 6 of the ICCPR.

Given the above, I respectfully request the following for these six men:

- that their death sentences be immediately overturned, and any planned executions be halted;


- any charges solely of participation in public protests to be dropped;


- that they be granted new trials as regards any remaining charges, 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 and UDHR.


Yours sincerely,

Your name


We also urge you to write to the United Nations on these prisoners' behalf.