July 2010

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July 29 Urgent: It was announced today that Jafar Kazemi's death sentence has been upheld by the Supreme Court, and sent to enforcement. He is likely in imminent danger of execution.

We have updated a sample letter to the Iranian authorities and have created one to the United Nations on Jafar Kazemi's behalf.

July 25 Urgent: Mohammad Mostafaei's wife and brother-in-law were arrested at approximately 11 pm on Saturday, July 24. Earlier Saturday Mostafaei himself attended an 4-hour interrogation session at Evin prison. Later security forces went to Mr. Mostafaei’s office with an arrest warrant, but he was not present there. Mostafaei is a prominent human rights attorney in Iran who has represented death-row youths Behnoud Shojaei and Mohammad Reza Haddadi, as well as recently publicizing Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's stoning case. More information...

July 22 Good news: Ali Mahitorabi was released yesterday after serving eight years in prison. Mahitorabi was condemned to death as a juvenile for allegedly murdering another youth. His lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, that the sentence was commuted and the victim's family agreed to accept Diyeh, or blood money, in lieu of execution. According to the article, Mostafaei attributes the release of his client to the tireless efforts of social activists, artists and journalists.

July 11 Zainab Jalalian's lawyer, Dr. Mohammad Sharifi, announced that he is "optimistic" about an appeal, after meeting with the Tehran prosecutor, Jafari Dolatabadi. According to Dr. Sharifi's statement, Dolatabadi has agreed to move Zainab to Kermanshah prison, which will make it easier for her family to visit. Though this is good news, we know the regime has a history of lying or making small concessions to divert public attention. We cannot stop sending letters and speaking out for Zainab's life. Please, send a letter to Iranian officials and the United Nations to save Zainab's life.

July 9 United4Iran has designed a postcard to be sent to key officials in Iran, and Iranian consulates and embassies throughout the world on behalf of Zainab Jalalian.

There is hope for Mohammad Reza Haddadi. Activist Shirin Ebadi has spoken with Mehdi Rahmat, the son of Mohammad Bagher Rahmat, who Haddadi is accused of murdering in 2003. Rahmat is quoted as saying, "I can’t say no. I can’t turn down Ms. Ebadi. I can’t do it on humanitarian grounds." Under Iranian law, Mehdi Rahmat can choose to forgo the Qisas (restitution; a victim's family's legal right to demand execution) against Haddadi.

July 6 There is serious concern about the welfare of Kurdish prisoner Aziz Mohammadzadeh. While on a hunger strike in Saghez prison 5 months ago, he was taken away by prison authorities. His family has not been able to find any information about his status and whereabouts, as authorities tell them that Aziz was released.

July 5 Two people were hanged in Orumiyeh Prison for alleged drug trafficking. Five people (currently unnamed) were moved to Orumiyeh Prison, which indicates more executions are pending.

Amnesty International called for an immediate commutation of all death sentences and expressed concern specifically over the pending executions of Zainab Jalalian and of Sakineh Mohammadi, sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery.

URGENT ACTION is needed to save Mohammad Reza Haddadi. His execution date has been set for 7 July 2010.

Note: "It is important to note that the July 7th date of execution was announced to Mohammad Reza's family, but prison officials and the court never actually confirmed this date. According to the most recent statement from defense lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, no date has been announced for the execution. According to the regulations of retribution (Qesas), lawyers are to be given 48 hours notice prior to the execution. Mostafaei claims that he has not received 48 hours prior notice. The only date confirmed is Mohammad Reza Haddadi's final meeting date called for Tuesday July 6, 2010."(from Persian2English)

We have provided a sample letter to Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for the Office of Human Rights on Mohammad Reza Haddadi's behalf. We also urge you to write to Iranian authorities to stop this illegal and senseless execution. Mohammad Reza Haddadi was sentenced to death as a minor (15 years old), which is a violation of international law and UN conventions to which Iran is a signatory.

Immediate action is needed to save Kurdish political prisoner Zainab Jalalian.