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Iran
29.03.11
Urgent Interventions

Sentencing of two human rights defenders

URGENT APPEAL - THEOBSERVATORY

IRN 002 / 0311 / OBS 052

Sentencings

Iran

March29, 2011

TheObservatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme ofthe International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World OrganisationAgainst Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the followingsituation in Iran.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliablesources of continuing acts of harassment againsthuman rights defenders in Iran.

On March16, 2011, the lawyer of Mr. Kaveh Ghassemi Kermanshahi, Iranianjournalist member of the Central Council of the Human Rights Organisation ofKurdistan, also signatory of the “One Million Signatures Campaign” and a memberof the student alumni group ADVAR, was notified that his client had beensentenced in appeal to four years in prison by the Revolutionary Court inKermanshah for allegedly “acting against national security” and “propagandaagainst the regime” by giving interviews to the media and publishing news andreports about families of political prisoners and victims. The latter has beenharassed over the past years[1],and had been sentenced on January 30, 2011 to five years imprisonment in firstinstance[2].

Inaddition, on March 17, 2011, Mr. Abdolreza Tajik, journalist and humanrights activist, was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court to atotal of six years in prison, i.e. five years for “membership in an illegalgroup”[3]; and one year for“propaganda against the regime”. Furthermore, Mr. Tajik remains accused of“publishing false reports in order to disrupt public opinion”, and the courthas not yet issued a sentence for that charge. He remains free on bail, andintends to appeal this sentencing.

TheObservatory condemns these sentences against Mr. Kaveh Ghassemi Kermanshahi and Mr. Abdolreza Tajik which clearly aims at sanctioningtheir human rights activities. The Observatory therefore urges the Iranianauthorities to drop all proceedings against them as well as theadditional charges brought against Mr. Tajik.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Iranian authorities and ask themto:

i. Guaranteein all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. KavehGhassemi Kermanshahi and Mr. Abdolreza Tajik as well as all human rights defenders in Iran;

ii. Put anend to acts of harassment - including at the judicial level - against them aswell as against all human rights defenders in Iran;

iii. Conformin any circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, inparticular its:

- Article1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in associationwith others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights andfundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”;

- Article 5(b) which provides that “for the purpose ofpromoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone hasthe right, individually and in association with others, at the national andinternational levels to form, join and participate in non-governmentalorganizations, associations or groups”;

- Article 6 (b) and (c) which states that“Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, asprovided for in human rights and other applicable international instruments,freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information andknowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms; to study,discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice,of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and otherappropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters”,

- andArticle 12.2 which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measuresto ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individuallyand in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, defacto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary actionas a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to inthe present Declaration”;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances respectfor human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with internationalhuman rights standards and international instruments ratified by Iran.

Addresses:

- Leader of theIslamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The Office ofthe Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 9821 649, + 98 21 649 / 21 774 2228, Email: info@leader.ir / istiftaa@wilayah.org/ webmaster@wilayah.org / info_leader@leader.ir

- President Mr.Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection,Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 649 5880.

- Head of theJudiciary, His Excellency Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, Ministry of Justice, Park-eShahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98 21 879 6671 / +98 21 3 3116567, Email: Irjpr@iranjudiciary.com / bia.judi@yahoo.com

- Minister of ForeignAffairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Av,Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98-21-66743149, Email: matbuat@mfa.gov

- Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran,Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203,Email: mission.iran@ties.itu.int

- Embassy of Iran in Brussels, 15 a avenue FranklinRoosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email:iran-embassy@yahoo.com

Please also write to the diplomatic representations ofIran in your respective countries.

***

Paris-Geneva, March 29, 2011

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting thecode of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicatedto the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concretesupport in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

  • Email: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
  • Tel and faxFIDH: +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / 01 43 55 18 80
  • Teland fax OMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29

[1] See Observatory UrgentAppeal IRN 002 / 0210 / OBS 015.

[2] See ObservatoryPress Release of February 8, 2011.

[3] Reportedly for hisalleged membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), even though thisorganisation has not been outlawed, andeven though Mr. Tajik is not a member and only cooperated in the preparation ofreports.

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