Iran – April 19, 2012 – The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Iran.
The Observatory has been informed by the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) of the release on bail of Mr. Kouhyar Goudarzi, a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR).
According to the information received, on April 12, 2012, Mr. Goudarzi was released on bail pending his trial on appeal.
The Observatory welcomes the release on bail of Mr. Kouhyar Goudarzi and thanks all the persons, institutions and organisations who intervened in his favour. However, it recalls that Mr. Saeed Jalalifar, another member of the CHRR and also a former member of the Association for Defence of Street and Working Children, is still serving a three-year prison sentence, while prison sentences of two other CHRR members, Ms. Shiva Nazarahari, also a member of the “One Million Signatures” Campaign, and Mr. Navid Khanjani, have been upheld and they are at risk of arbitrary arrest any time.
Mr. Kouhyar Goudarzi was arrested in December 2009 and subsequently sentenced to one year in prison on charges, among others, of “propaganda activity against the regime through effective collaboration with the Committee of Human Rights Reporters website”, “collection and publishing of biased news against the regime and transfer of this information to terrorist organisations based abroad” as well as “interviews with foreign media and publishing articles in websites,” pursuant to Islamic Penal Code of Iran. He served the sentence and was released on December 14, 2010. On July 30 or 31, 2011, Mr. Goudarzi was again arrested in Tehran and his whereabouts remained unknown during the first several few weeks in what was tantamount to enforced disappearance. A day after his arrest, in the morning of July 31 or August 1, 2011, his mother Ms. Parvin Mokhtar’e was also arbitrarily arrested at her home in Kerman, by four plainclothes agents, without a warrant. While in detention, she was informed that she had been accused of “insulting the Supreme leader”, “propaganda against the regime”, and “acting against national security”, whereas she had no political or human rights-related activities. In December 2011, after spending nearly five months in Kerman prison, she was sentenced to 23 months of imprisonment on charges of “assembly, collusion and spreading propaganda against the State” by the Kerman Islamic Revolution Court. On appeal, the sentence was reduced to 23 months of suspended imprisonment. She was also sentenced to cash fine for “insulting the martyrs”, which she paid, before being released on March 18, 2012.
On February 26, 2012, Mr. Kouhyar Goudarzi was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Islamic Revolution Court to five years of imprisonment to be served in internal exile in the remote south-eastern city of Zabul. He was convicted on charges of “propaganda against the regime” through an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, in which he spoke about his hunger strike in solidarity with prisoners and his former cellmates, and “assembly and collusion against the regime”. Although he lodged an appeal, he remained detained in Section 209 of Evin prison under control of the Ministry of Intelligence. Since his arrest in July 2011, he spent more than two months in solitary confinement.
Please write to the Iranian authorities and ask them to:
Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Kouhyar Goudarzi, Saeed Jalalifar and Navid Khanjani and Ms. Shiva Nazarahari as well as all human rights defenders and their families in Iran;
Release Mr. Saeed Jalalifar immediately and unconditionally as his detention only aims at sanctioning his human rights activities;
Put an end to any kind of harassment – including at the judicial level – against Ms. Shiva Nazarahari and Messrs. Kouhyar Goudarzi, Saeed Jalalifar and Navid Khanjani and more generally against all human rights defenders in Iran;
Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular:
its article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”;
its article 5.b, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels, (…) to form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups”;
its article 12.2 which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;
Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Iran.
Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shahid Keshvardoost St., Jomhuri Eslami Ave., Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, E-Mail: email@example.com, Faxes: + 98 21 649, + 98 21 649 / 21 774 2228, firstname.lastname@example.org
President Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 649 5880. E-Mail: email@example.com
Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, Ministry of Justice, c/o Public relations Office, Number 4, 2 Azizi Street, Vali Asr Ave., above Pasteur Street intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98 21 879 6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Akbar Salehi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Av, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98-21-66743149
Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights, Mr. Mohammed Jayad Larijani, [Care of] Office of the Head of the Judicary, Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave, South of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran. Email: email@example.com
H.E. Mr. Seyed Mohammad Reza Sajjadi, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Embassy of Iran in Brussels, 15 a avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email: email@example.com
Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Iran in your respective countries.
Paris-Geneva, April 19, 2012
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
The Observatory, an OMCT and FIDH venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29