Support Iranians

The arrest of human rights lawyer Mr Abdolfattah Soltani on 16 June 2009 during a mass arrest that also included many other human rights defenders raises serious concerns for the security of prominent human rights defenders.

Abdolfattah Soltani is a leading human rights lawyer and a founding member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Tehran (DHRC).

On 16 June 2009, Abdolfattah Soltani was arrested in his office in Tehran.

According to Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate and the head of the DHRC, security officials posing as clients entered the Tehran office, immediately confiscated Abdolfattah Soltani’s computer and other documents, and then arrested him. They did not have an arrest warrant.

All you have to do is either cut and paste the letter or print out the attached version and sign and post it off. Remember to add your own name and address. If you receive a reply please send a copy to Head of Communications, Front Line, 81 Main St., Blackrock Co Dublin.

If you would like information on other cases you can log onto the Front Line web site at http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/act

Letter below-

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,

Office of the President,

Pasteur Avenue,

13168-43311,

Tehran,

Iran.

Your Excellency,

I am deeply concerned following reports that human rights lawyer Mr Abdolfattah Soltani was arrested on 16 June 2009 during a mass arrest that also included many other human rights defenders.

Abdolfattah Soltani is a leading human rights lawyer and a founding member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Tehran (DHRC).

He was involved in the case of the dissident journalist, Akbar Ganji, and represented the family of Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian born Canadian photojournalist who died in an Iranian prison under torture.

In relation to this case, Mr Soltani was detained without formal charge in Tehran’s Evin prison from 30 July 2005 until March 2006. On 16 July 2006 he was sentenced to five years in prison and a loss of his civic rights for “non-respect of the preliminary investigation confidentiality in a political case in which he was the defendants lawyer”.

On 16 June 2009, Abdolfattah Soltani was arrested in his office in Tehran. According to Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate and the head of the DHRC, security officials posing as clients entered the Tehran office, immediately confiscated Abdolfattah Soltani’s computer and other documents, and then arrested him. They did not have an arrest warrant.

Prior to his arrest, Abdolfattah Soltani publicly called on the Iranian government to recount all the votes in last Friday’s disputed presidential election, in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner.

I wish to express my deep concern following reports of the violent dispersal of peaceful protests that erupted nationwide following the presidential elections. State security forces have reportedly used excessive force against peaceful protesters, including the use of plastic bullets and live ammunition, in urban centers and university campuses across the country.

Several protesters have reportedly been killed in Shiraz and in Tehran.

According to information received, many other human rights defenders have also been targeted following the presidential elections including Mr Alireza Tajik and Mr Kayvan Samimi, members of the Arbitrary Detentions Investigation Committee, who were arrested on 15 June 2009.

I believe that the arrests of Abdolfattah Soltani, Alireza Tajik and Kayvan Samimi are directly related to their legitimate work in defence of human rights.

I urge the Iranian authorities to:

1.Immediately and unconditionally release Abdolfattah Soltani, Alireza Tajik, Kayvan Samimi and all other human rights defenders who have been arrested due to their participation in peaceful demonstrations related to the Iranian presidential election, as I believe that they are being held solely as a result of their legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;

2.Immediately stop the use of excessive force against peaceful protesters and take urgent measures to ensure full respect by security forces and police of the United Nations Basic Principles for the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, in compliance with Iran’s international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

3.Refrain from arresting or detaining human rights defenders solely for conducting their legitimate work in defence of human rights or for expressing their opinions on related issues;

4.Ensure that the treatment of Abdolfattah Soltani, Alireza Tajik and Kayvan Samimi, while in detention, adheres to all those conditions set out in the ‘Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment’, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988;

5.Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Iran are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

Yours sincerely

4 Responses to “Support Iranians”

  1. libhomo Says:

    American theocrats would do well to learn from the lessons of what theocracy is like in Iran.

    • RickB Says:

      Thing is , I think they are jealous, they would love a ‘morals police’ type volunteer paramilitary. And a ruler above the president who issues pronouncements on religious matters.

  2. RickB Says:

    ‘fratricidal’ well they’ll all get to their heaven quicker that way…


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