UN letter for 6 prisoners in danger of imminent execution

  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/khazelton/iran.elple.net/includes/unicode.inc on line 345.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/khazelton/iran.elple.net/includes/unicode.inc on line 345.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/khazelton/iran.elple.net/includes/unicode.inc on line 345.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/khazelton/iran.elple.net/includes/unicode.inc on line 345.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/khazelton/iran.elple.net/includes/unicode.inc on line 345.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/khazelton/iran.elple.net/includes/unicode.inc on line 345.
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 the six prisoners in danger of imminent execution in Iran, asking for their sentences to be overturned and their unconditional release. A sample letter you can use, or modify, follows.

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for the Office of Human Rights

npillay@ohchr.org

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 cases of six political prisoners on death row thought to be in danger of imminent execution. 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 presumed to be held in Evin Prison. 

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 a fair trial, and were likely subjected to physical and psychological torture in the attempt to obtain a coerced confessions. Jafar Kazemi's wife has described his brutal treatment in prison in her own letter to the United Nations. Their convictions and death sentence is likely a direct result of two things: participation in public protests against the regime, and in some cases, the connections of family members with the People's Mujahedin of Iran. These prisoners should not be held responsible for their relatives' 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 these six men:

- if any imminent executions are planned, that they be immediately halted;

- for their death sentences to be overturned on the grounds that they were not granted a fair trial with access to legal counsel and protection from torture and coerced confessions;

- that they be granted new trial if charges against them 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 they 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."

These six cases has been forwarded to the implementation stage and we are concerned about the imminent risk to these men's lives. 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 their lives.

Yours sincerely,

Your name


We also urge you to appeal to Iranian authorities.