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11/01/09

Open Letter to UN Secretary General by Group of Writers, Artists, Journalists, and Academicians about the Situation of Iranian Political Prisoners


 


Cyrus' Cylinder: Considered as History's First Declaration of Human Rights
in Ancient Times is today displayed at the British Museum.
British Museum, London


His Excellency
Mr Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General of the United Nations
United Nations
New York, NY.

October 30th 2009

Your Excellency,

The lives of political prisoners in Iran are in danger

Over the past months you have witnessed the Iranian people's immense and awe-inspiring non-violent demonstrations, rejecting the results of a widely organized fraudulent presidential election. Iranian people expressed their demand for free elections deliberately and peacefully. However, the Islamic Republic responded to their legitimate demand for civil liberty and justice with the bloody attacks committed by its military and paramilitary forces. Scores of demonstrators were killed, thousands were arrested, imprisoned, and were persecuted, tortured, and sexually abused by security and intelligence officials, for the sole reason of their peaceful protest against a deceitful act to maintain Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad as the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Parallel to the repression of protesters on the street, the perpetrators of the electoral coup arrested the leaders and activists of legal political organizations and parties, and launched arbitrary arrests of political opponents who have since gone through solitary confinement along with physical and mental torture, and a sham mass trial based on forced confessions.

Mr. Secretary General,

as we write to you, in addition to other arbitrary and unmitigated acts against those who have been deprived of the most basic right of defense, political prisoners are under the savage threat of death penalty. Recently, the spokesman of the Ministry of Justice of the Islamic Republic, without even naming the five persons condemned to death, and identifying them only by their initials, announced the death penalty imposed on Arash Rahmani-Pour, Hamed Rohani-Nejad, Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani, Nasser Abdol-Hosseini and Davoud Fardbacheh-Mirardebili. These individuals have beencondemned to death on false and baseless charges. They were deprived of the right to defend themselves in a fair trial in accordance with internationally accepted judicial standards set by the United Nations Centre for Human Rights.

In reality, the true motive for these death sentences is to terrorize the Iranian public. According to accounts given by eyewitnesses, many of these men were detained on other charges and were already kept in the Islamic Republic's prisons months before the events which followed the elections. They were forced to appear as actors in a play staged by the Islamic Republic court in order to disclose  the secret foreign plots . behind the events in Iran, a scene in which Clotilde Reiss, the innocent French student and teacher was obliged to take part.

The government has obstructed legal and family communications of political prisoners, thus imposing solitude and isolation on them, keeping their families and attorneys in the dark. On groundless charges, and often without a warrant, officials have arrested and imprisoned trade union activists and guilds leaders, journalists, bloggers, militants of the women's movement and adherents of religious creeds. With the beginning of the academic year and the reopening of the universities, they haveincreased the purge and expulsion of dissident students. Eight university professors are in jail while some others are threatened with dismissal or compulsory retirement. Mohammad Maleki, a former head of Teheran University who twice in the past has endured lengthy prison terms for expressing his political views, is once again in solitary confinement despite his old age and chronic illness.

Mr. Secretary General,

We would like to express our profound appreciation for your recent detailed report to the United Nations General Assembly concerning the situation of Human Rights in Iran. Our deepest gratitude goes out to the efforts made by the United Nations' experts, especially Mr. Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Executions, and Mr. Manfred Nowak, Special Rapporteur on Torture, and notably to the endeavors of the United Nations' High Commissioner on Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay. Given the existing evidence of the flagrant violations of human rights, torture as well as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners in the detention centers of the Islamic Republic, we solicit your support for the following urgent actions:

  • to use the moral authority of your high office and the United Nations' administrative and legal possibilities to save the lives of those who have recently been sentenced to death penalty by the Islamic courts;

  • To call for the annulment of sentences given in the recent sham trials invoking the binding obligations of the Iranian Government to the basic human rights of citizens to fair and equitable trials, as provided in the International Covenants on Human Rights;

  • to obtain Mr. Nowak's request to travel on a fact-finding mission to Iran, which has remained unanswered for many months;

  • finally, given the continuing deterioration of human rights situation in the Islamic Republic, we request your constant support for the re-establishment of the office of Special Representative for Iran that was terminated in 2002.

Please accept, Mr. Secretary General our highest consideration.

Hard copy sent by post
Copy to Office of the High Commissionaire for Human Rights


Signatures
:

Mina ABBASPOUR, Zia ABEDI, Abbas AGHELI ZADEH, Reza AGHNAMI, Arash AHANGAR GHASHGHAI, Reza AKRAMI, Kazem ALAMDARI, Bahare ALAVI, Reza ALLAMEH ZADEH, Nasrin ALMASSI, Assieh AMIN, Bahman AMINI, Marjan ANSARI, Vahab ANSARI, Jamshid ANVAR, Keyvan ARAMESH, Said A. ARJOMAND, Kamal ARAS, Maryam ASFARI, Ahmad ASHRAF, Maryam ASHRAFI, Parvin ASHRAFI, Gil AVAEI, Ahmad AYYOUB, Ahmad AZAD, Mohammad AZAMI, Rasoul AZARNOUSH, Dara AZIZI, Pouya AZIZI, Hessan BABAIE, Bagher BAGHA, Nahid BAGHERI, Shahriar BAKHSHI, Jila BAKHTIARI, Ali BANOUAZIZI, Monireh BARADARAN, Reza BARAHENI, Mehran BARATI, Mehdi BARZIN, Behnam BAVANDPOUR, Amin BAYAT, Kamal BAYRAM ZADEH, Sohrab BEHDAD, Hassan BEHGAR, Mansoureh BEHKISH, Kamran BEHNIA, Niloufar BEYZAI, Arjang BORHAN AZAD, Mehrzad BOROUJERDI, Cyrus BINA, Zheila BORGHEM, Reza CHARANDABI, Hamid CHEGINI, Elahé CHOKRAIE, Hamid DABASHI, Javad DADSETAN, Farhad DAFTARI, Amir DAHA, Amir DAMAVANDI, Mehrdad DARVISHPOUR, Fariba DAVOUDI MOHAJER, Ehssan DEHKORDI, Akbar DOOSTDAR, Bagher EBRAHIM ZADEH, Shadi EBRAHIM ZADEH, Shokoufeh EBRAHIM ZADEH, Kaveh EHSANI, Mansoureh ELMI, Anna ENAYAT, Zahra ERFANI, Ardavan ERSHAD, Ahmad ESKANDANI, Maryam ESKANDANI, Mehrnoush ETEMADI, Nasser ETEMADI, Razieh FAGHIHI KASHANI, Mohamad FALLAHNIA, Araz FANNI, Siavosh FARAJI, Farideh FARHI, Vida FARHOUDI, Fereshteh FARAHANI, Nasrin FARHOOMAND, Sepideh FARSI, Mehdi FATAPOUR, Masoud FATHI, Manouchehr FAZEL, Ali FOROUZANDEH, Nader FOROUZI, Hossein FOTOUHI, Amir H. GANDJBAKHCHE, Mohsen GHAEMMAGHAM, Jafar GHAFFARPOUR, Saghi GHAHREMAN, Arezou GHAHREMANI, Haydeh GHAHREMANI, Aida GHAJAR, Shahram GHANBARI, Farhang GHASSEMI, Kobra GHASSEMI, Reza GHASSEMI, Vajih GHASSEMI, Kaveh GHASSEMI KERMANSHAHI, Mehi GHOLIZADEH AGHDAM, Majid GIVEHCHI, Roberto GODOY, Hassan GOLSHAHI, Ali GOUCHE, Fatemeh HAGHIGHATJOO, Vida HAJEBI, Maryam HAJJARIAN, Hamid HAMIDI, Hassan HAMIDIAN, Naghi HAMIDIAN, Ahmad HASHEMI, Ali HASHEMI, Jahangir HASHEMI, Iraj HASHEMI ZADEH, Laleh HASSANPOUR, Kourosh HAZEGHI, Naghi HEIDARIAN, Ali HOJAT, Hassan HESSAM, Mohsen HORMATIPOUR, Reza HOSSEINI, Shahrzad HOSSEINI, Ata HOUDASHTIAN, Asghar IZADI, Mahmoud JAAFARI, Mohammad JALALI (M.Sahar), Farshid JAMALI, Abbas JAMALZEHI, Peyman JAVAHER-HAGHIGHI, Farzad JAVAHERI, Javad JAVAHERI, Maryam JAVAHERIAN, Mohammad-Reza JAVAHERIAN, Sirous JAVIDI, Mihan JAZANI, Hamid JAZEB, Raouf KAABI, Sheema KALBASSI, Ali KALAI, Farnaz KAMALI, Hossein KAMALY, Behrouz KARAMI, Kazem KARDAVANI, Esfandiar kARIMI, Ahmad KARIMI-HAKKAK, Roya KASHEFI, Giti KAVEH, Iraj KAYEDPOUR, Farhad KAZEMI, Mostafa KAZEMI, Masoud KAZEM-ZADEH, Hormuz KEY, Behzad KESHAVARZI, Houshang KESHAVARZ-SADR, Ali KESHTGAR, Nassim KHAKSAR, Faramarz KHODAYARI, Lotf-Ali KHONJI, Mehdi KHORASANI, Ali-asghar KHORSAND, Hadi KHORSANDI, Jalal KIAI, Panthéa KIAN, Fati KOHEN, Golnaz KORDESTANI, Mansour KOUSHAN, Arash KYA, Hossein LADJEVARDI, Asghar LARKI, Mazdak LIMAKESHI, Ahmad MACHOUF, Anousheh MACHOUF, Nima MACHOUF, Bahram MAESSOUMI, Mohssen MAGHSOUDI, Effat MAHBAZ, Farhad MAHDAVI, Ali-Akbar MAHDI, Sadegh MAHMOUDI, Hassan MAKARAMI, Golnaz MALAK, Manijeh MARASHI, Gorji MARZBAN, Leya MARZBAN, Reza MARZBAN, Mahnaz MATINE, Ali MATINEDAFTARY, Hedayat MATINE-DAFTARY, Forough MEHDI-POUR, Hamid MEHDI-POUR, Minou MEHDIPOUR, Homayoun MEHMANESH, Sassan MEHRI, Maryam MESKOUB, Ferdos MIRABADI, Mehran MIRFAKHRAI, Mansour MOADDEL, Behrouz MOAZAMI, Mojtaba MOFIDI, Rezvan MOGHADDAM, Roya MOGHADDAS, Haideh MOGHISSI, Firouzeh MOHAJER, Nasser MOHAJER, Arash MOHAJERINEJAD, Reza MOHAJERI-NEJAD, Nasser MOHEB, Parvin MOHSENI, Khatereh MOINI, Mohammad MOINI, Amir MOMBINI, Bagher MOMENI, Norma Clair MORRUZI, Mohammad MORRAVEJ, Hossein MOSHFEGH, Mahnaz MOSHFEGH, Hossein MOSHREF, Mehran MOSTAFAVI ,Samaneh MOUSSAVI, Zahra MOUSSAVI, torab MOSTOFI, Hashem MOVAHED, Nahid MOZAFARI, Nader MOZAKKA, Ali NADIMI, Akbar NAJAFI, Sabri NAJAFI, Shokouh NAJM-ABADI, Manouchehr NAMVAR AZAD, Hossein NANAM, Kioumard NAMJOU, Reza NASSEHI, Nima NASSERABADI, Simin NASSIRI, Hamdam NASTARANI, Hassan NAYEB HASHEM, Shiva NAZARAHARI, Jamileh NEDAI, Mitra NEHCHIRI, Farhad NOMANI, Arash NARAGHI, Mohsen NEJAD, Nasrin NODINIAN, Parvin NODINIAN, Raouf NODINIAN, Shiva NOJEH, Nikrooz OLAD AEZAMI, Nasser PAKDAMAN, Karim PAKRAVAN, Korosh PARSA, Misagh PARSA, Roya PARSAY, Koushyar PARSI, Ahmad POURMANDI, Mahmoud RAFI, Nariman RAHIMI, Ali RAHNEMA, Saeed RAHNEMA, Ali RASSOULI, Mahshid RASTI, Mohsen REZVANI, Fazi RIAHI, Fazlolah ROHANI, Aida SAADAT, Kioumars SABEGHI, Parviz SADEGHI, Hamed SADEGHI SEFAT, Nasser SADIGHI, Hamid SADR, Shahla SAFAI, Yaeghoub SAFAI, Ahmad SAFFARIAN, Mansour SAHARKHIZ, Rahman SAKI, Manouchehr SALEKI, Nasser SALIM, Ali-asghar SALIMI, Forough SAMIENIA, Akbar SARDOUZAMI, Hossein SARFEH JOU, Anvar SATTARI, Soheila SATTARI, Khosro SEMNANI, Mohammad-Taghi SEYYED AHMADI, Bahram SHAFIEI, Hossein SHAFIEI, Shahla SHAFIGH, Houshang SHAHABI, Reza SHAH HOSSEINI, Ali SHAHANDEH, Rozita SHARAF JAHAN, Hassan SHARIATMADARI, Hemad SHEYBANI, Behrouz SHIDA, Ali SHIRAZI, Mohammad SHIRZAD, Akbar SEYF, Amir SOLTANI, Bahram SOLTANI, Siamak SOLTANI, Bahram SOROUSH, Haideh TABESH, Mehdi TAGHAVAI, Manouchehr TAGHAVI-BAYAT, Kamal TAGHDISSI, Shahin TAGHDISSI, Farrah TAHERI, Ali TAHMASBI, Mehdi TAJ-ALDINI, Taghi TAM, Houshang TAVAKOLI, Nahid TAVAKOLI, Mohammad TAVAKOLI-TARGHI, Nahid TAVASOLI, Fereydoun TOFIGHI, Nayereh TOHIDI, Farzin VAHDAT, Shadabe VAJDI, Saba VASSEFI, Chidan VASSIGH, Mehdi VAZIRI, Nima VAZIRI, Azadeh YADOLLAHI, Mohsen YALFANI, Bita YARI, Farhad YASSAI, Manouchehr YAZDIAN, Matias ZAMANI, Majid ZARBAKHSH, Esmail ZARGARIAN, Nader ZARKARI, Hassan ZEHTAB, Maliheh ZEHTAB, Naser ZERAATI, Hassan ZEREHI, Fakhri ZERESHKEH, Masoumeh ZIA, Morteza ZIABARI, Sohrab ZINANI, Mehdi ZOLFAGHARI, Behzad ZOLNOUR.

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