Open Letter to Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: All Human Rights Defenders must be Released Immediately

Wednesday 20 January 2010

View online : International Federation for Human Rights

Open Letter to Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ,

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency,

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), wishes to welcome the release on bail on January 14, 2010 of Ms. Atieh Youssefi , member of the “One Million Signatures” Campaign , Ms. Noushin Ebadi, medical lecturer at Azad University of Tehran and sister of Ms. Shirin Ebadi , and of Mr. Hassan Rasouli , Deputy Secretary General of the Cultural Foundation Baran.

Nevertheless, the Observatory deplores that Ms. Youssefi and Ms. Ebadi remain prosecuted, and calls upon the Iranian authorities to put an end to the judicial harassment against them.

Furthermore, the Observatory fears that other “One Million Signatures” Campaign members, including Ms. Bahareh Hedayat , Ms. Shiva Nazarahari , Ms. Mansoureh Shojaie , also founding member of the Campaign and of the Women’s Cultural Centre, Ms. Samieh Rashidi , Ms. Maryam Zia , Ms. Mahsa Hekmat , Ms. Parisa Kakaï , all arrested at the end of December 2009 and on January 1 and 2, 2010, as well as Ms. Bahman Ahmadi Amoui , arrested in July 2009 and sentenced on January 4 to seven years and four months’ imprisonment, remain in detention as to date, as no information to the contrary could be obtained [1] .

Additionally, the Observatory fears that Mr. Emad Baghi , journalist, founder of the Society for the Defence of Prisoners’ Rights and winner of the 2009 Martin Ennals Award, Mr. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi , student activist and former leader of a student NGO, Mr. Mashaollah Shamsolvaezine , Spokesperson for the Association for the Defence of Freedom of the Press, Mr. Alireza Beheshti , Director of the website kalameh , journalists Mostafa Izadi , Morteza Kazemian , Nasrin Vaziri , Keyvan Mehregan , Mr. Mahin Fahimi , peace activist, Mr. Mehdi Arabshahi , Adwar Tahkim NGO member, Ms. Zohreh Tonkaboni , member of the organisation Mothers for Peace, and Mr. Morteza Haji , Secretary General of Baran , also remain arbitrarily detained following their arrest in the aftermath of the December 27 demonstrations.

Accordingly, the Observatory urges the Iranian authorities to guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of the aforementioned human rights defenders, as well as to release them immediately and unconditionally since their detention is arbitrary as it seem to only aim at sanctioning their human rights activities.

The Observatory further calls upon the Iranian authorities to cease the repression and prosecution of all human rights defenders in Iran, and to immediately and unconditionally release those who are still detained , so as to conform with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1998, with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by the Islamic Republic of Iran .

We express our sincere hope that you will take these considerations and requests into account.

Yours sincerely,

Souhayr Belhassen Eric Sottas

FIDH President OMCT Secretary General


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