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UN Letter for Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei

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 Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei in danger of imminent execution in Iran, demanding an immediate halt to his execution. A sample letter you can use, or modify, follows.

from Persian2English.

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

Email: npillay@ohchr.org, sg@un.org

CC: urgent-action@ohchr.org, inquiries@un.org, info@reachingcriticalwill.org, inforequest@wilpf.ch

Fax: +41-22-917-9008 (Geneva) +1-212-963-4097 (NY)

His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations

Tel: 1-212-963-7160, 61, 62

Fax: 212-963-7055

You can send a free online fax here.

Your Excellency,

We, the undersigned, demand the immediate halt to the execution order issued to Mohammad Ali Haj Aghayari. The sentence is entirely illegal.

There is no evidence that Mohammad Ali Haj Aghayari has committed any ‘crime’ and lawyers say all he did was join the mass protests again the Iranian regime on Ashura.

Also, like Jafar Kazemi, Mohammad Ali Haj Aghayari has not had access to independent legal assistance and was restricted from seeing his family during his prosecution.

The Iranian regime’s judiciary reaffirmed the death sentence for Mohammad Ali Haj Aghayari, a political prisoner charged with supporting the People’s Mujahedin-e Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). We as the people from the global community call on the UN Secretary General, Security Council, High Commissioner for Human Rights and all human rights organizations to take urgent measures to save the lives of Mohammad Ali Haj Aghayari and other political prisoners.

[signature]

Please copy to the following media addresses:

nightline@abcnews.com, 2020@abc.com, evening@cbsnews.com, earlyshow@cbs.com, 60m@cbsnews.com, 48hours@cbsnews.com, ftn@cbsnews.com, info@cnbc.com, dateline@nbcuni.com, hardball@msnbc.com, joe@msnbc.com, nightly@nbc.com, today@nbc.com, newshour@pbs.org, ombudsman@npr.org, city@thestar.ca, readers.rep@latimes.com, letters@latimes.com, letters@nytimes.com, Bruce.Wallace@latimes.com, Mark.McGonigle@latimes.com, news-tips@nytimes.com, foreign@nytimes.com, nytnews@nytimes.com, editor@usatoday.com, wsj.ltrs@wsj.com, letters@washpost.com, ombudsman@washpost.com, letters@newsweek.com, letters@time.com, letters@usnews.com, info@ap.org, tips@upi.com, red@berlingske.dk, redaktion@faz.de, redactie@volkskrant.nl, ole.erik.almlid@aftenposten.no, bjorn.hedensjo@dn.se, redaktion@tages-anzeiger.ch, foreign.news@thetimes.co.uk, robert.tait@guardian.co.uk, simon.jeffery@guardian.co.uk, redazione.tg5@mediaset.it, redazione.studioapertorm@mediaset.it, skytg24.redazione@skytv.it, segreteria_roma@repubblica.it, roma@lastampa.it, esteri@liberazione.it, segreteria@unita.it, lorenzocairoli@hotmail.com, redazione@ilmanifesto.it, nadiapizzuti@gmail.com, nadia.pizzuti@ansa.it

We also urge you to appeal for the other 5 prisoners at risk of imminent execution.

Letter to the Editor Regarding Imminent Execution of 6 Political Prisoners

Raising awareness about political prisoners is difficult in a time where media attention seems to quickly divert from human rights abuses. We urge you to write to the editors of major world newspapers and to your local paper. We have included contact information for some of the world's largest newspapers.

A sample letter you can use, or modify, follows.


To the Editor:

I am writing regarding the cases of six political prisoners on death row in Iran, thought to be in danger of imminent execution. They were arrested and sentenced to death for participation in public protests against the Iranian regime. On August 1 it was announced that their death sentences, upheld by the Appeals Court, had been sent to the Enforcement Division. Their executions could happen at any time.

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 confession. Jafar Kazemi's wife has described his brutal treatment in prison in a letter to the United Nations.

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 that day and his son’s involvement with the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MKO, PMOI, or MEK). He was harshly interrogated and pressured in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison to make a televised confession, which he refused to do. Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei was also arrested on September 18, 2009 and sentenced to death as Moharebeh for alleged connections with MEK and propaganda against the Iranian government.

Abdolreza Ghanbari, a 42-year old teacher, was sentenced to death on charges of Moharebeh based on his supposed crime of chanting "Death to the dictator" during the December 27, 2009 Ashura protests against the Iranian regime. Moharabeh is a political charge dressed as a religious offense and is usually translated as “armed war against the state” or against God. Ahmad Daneshpour and his son, Mohsen, were also arrested after the Ashura protests and are sentenced to death for alleged ties with MEK.

Ali Saremi, age 62, has been arrested at least four times in the last 30 years, and was sentenced to death on 29 December 2009 after being detained for 28 months. Mr. Saremi is also being denied proper medical treatment and access to his necessary medications.

Though five of the six were arrested following post-election protests, the regime claims they are all connected with the People's Mujahedin of Iran. All six are likely to be the latest victims of the regime’s attempt to reassert its authority.

Jafar Kazemi’s lawyer, Nasim Ghanavi, said her client’s appeal was never seriously considered and the charges against him have no merit. When Mr. Kazemi’s family met with the Minister of Justice, he told them that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is the only one who can legally pardon Mr. Kazemi.

We must conclude that Iran’s Supreme Leader is solely responsible for the death sentences of political prisoners. The Iranian regime continues to use the "Moharebeh" sentence against these prisoners, even when the charges have no basis. We urge world citizens, leaders and human rights organizations to unite in speaking out in opposition to these crimes against humanity.

Sincerely,

Your name


United States Newspapers

The Boston Globe: letter@globe.com

The Chicago Tribune: ctc-tribletter@tribune.com

The Christian Science Monitor: letters@csmonitor.com

The Los Angeles Times: letters@latimes.com

The New York Post: letters@nypost.com

The New York Times: letters@nytimes.com

Philadelphia Inquirer: inquirer.letters@phillynews.com

The Washington Post: letters@washpost.com

The Washington Times: yourletters@washingtontimes.com

Canadian Newspapers

Globe and Mail: letters@globeandmail.ca

Macleans: letters@macleans.ca

The Montreal Gazette: letters@thegazette.southam.ca

The Ottawa Citizen: letters@thecitizen.canwest.com

The Toronto Star: lettertoed@thestar.ca

The Ottawa Citizen: letters@thecitizen.canwest.com

The Vancouver Sun: sunletters@vancouversun.com

UK Newspapers

The Daily Telegraph: dletters@telegraph.co.uk

The Economist: letters@economist.com

The Guardian: letters@guardian.co.uk

The Independent: letters@independent.co.uk

The Observer: editor@observer.co.uk

The Times Online: online.editor@timesonline.co.uk

Other World Newspapers

The Australian: letters@theaustralian.com.au

Belfast Telegraph: writeback@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

France24: webdesk@france24.com

The Hindu: letters@thehindu.co.in

The Irish Times: lettersed@irishtimes.com

Japan Times: via web.

News Letter (Northern Ireland): darwin.templeton@jpress.co.uk

Ovi Magazine (Finland): thanos@ovimagazine.com

Prima News (Russia, focusing on human rights): prima@prima-news.ru

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia): letters@smh.com.au


Please feel free to leave additional newspaper Letters to the Editor contacts in the comments section.

UN letter for 6 prisoners in danger of imminent execution

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.

UN letter for Jafar Kazemi

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

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 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.

Yours sincerely,

Your name


We also urge you to appeal to Iranian authorities.

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