Location: Rajaei Shahr Prison
Date condemned: August 2010
Overturned: February 2011
March 2: The death sentence has been overturned and Farah Vazehan is to face a 17-year prison sentence in exile in Rajaei Shahr prison. While her life is not in immediate danger of being taken by the state, she is still a prisoner of the political system.
September 10: Farah Vazehan suffered a heart attack and was transferred to the clinic at Evin Prison and later Modarres Hospital in Tehran.
Farah Vazehan was detained on December 29, two days after she participated in Ashura protests against the regime. She was charged with participating in street protests and sentenced to death as Moharebeh. Moharebeh is the charge commonly used by the Islamic Republic to justify death sentences for political prisoners. There is no moral or legal jusitification for these execution sentences, and Iran is a signatory to United Nations conventions that protect the rights of citizens against arbitrary detention and execution. Farah has been held in detention for seven months and is currently in Evin prison's women's ward. Although it was originally reported that she was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the Human Rights House of Iran received reliable information that she was in fact condemned to die, and her family has reportedly not told her about the execution sentence. After living abroad for years, Farah returned to Iran to care for her 19-year old daughter who is receiving treatment for cancer.
Her death sentence for Moharabeh is likely related to his sister's membership in the People's Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI, also known as MEK, MKO, and others). Her uncle was reportedly executed in the 1980s, most likely for affiliation with the group. Other sources report that Ms. Vazehan was arrested for sending photographs of the Ashura protests to an unnamed "opposition" television station.
Although Article 27 of the Iranian Constitution allows for peaceful assembly, the Iranian authorities continue to arrest, torture, imprison, and execute post-election protesters. In addition to betraying their own laws, the Islamic Republic is refusing to hold up its obligations to international law. Article 9 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) protects citizens from arbitrary arrest. Article 6(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states: "In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes." Farah Vazehan's participation in a peaceful protest does not warrant a death sentence. Neither does her alleged association with the People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI, MEK, MKO), which the regime falsely accuses members of the Green movement and other political opponents of in order to levy a death sentence.