The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY
IRN 006 / 0807 / OBS 088
Sentencing / Hindrance to freedoms of expression and movement Iran August 2, 2007
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), requests your urgent intervention in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory was informed by the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) of the sentencing on July 31, 2007 of Mr. Emadeddin Baghi, a journalist involved in the defence of human rights, to three years in prison and of the suspended sentences on his wife, Mrs. Fatemeh Kamali Ahmad Sarahi, editor of the now-closed monthly Jameh-e-no, as well as his daughter, Ms. Maryam Baghi.
According to the information received, Mr. Baghi was condemned by the Tehran Revolutionary Court on July 31, 2007, for articles he had written in the Jomhouriat newspaper, of which he had been the editor-in-chief until it was closed down by the authorities in September 2004. The articles called for the defence of persons who were sentenced to death in the southern Khozestan region. He was condemned for “activities against national security” and “publicity in favour of the regime’s opponents”.
On the same day, his wife and his daughter were given three-year suspended prison sentences and five years of probation for “meeting and colluding with the aim of disrupting national security”, after taking part in a series of human rights workshops in Dubai in 2004.
Mr. Baghi, his wife and his daughter have appealed their sentence. As a consequence, Mr. Baghi is not presently detained.
Over the past years, Mr. Baghi and his wife have been subjected to repeated acts of harassment due to their human rights activities. In particular, Mr. Baghi has already been detained from 2000 to 2003 for “attacking national security” in relation to articles he had written on human rights and against the death penalty. On leaving prison, he set up an organisation to defend the rights of prisoners of conscience, the Society for Defending Prisoners’ Rights. Moreover, his passport was confiscated on October 4, 2004, on the eve of his travel to Montreal, where he had planned to participate in the 2nd World Congress Against Death Penalty which was held from October 6 to 9, 2004. He has been banned from leaving the country since then and was accordingly prevented from going to France in December 2005 in order to receive the Human Rights Prize which had been awarded to him by the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l’Homme – CNCDH).
The Observatory expresses its deepest concern over the constant repression of human rights defenders in Iran, and urges the Iranian authorities to conform to Article 6(b) of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others [… to] freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
The Observatory further wishes to recall that Iran had committed to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights” by presenting its candidacy to the Human Rights Council 2006 election and insisted in this regard on the fact that the country had “continuously put great efforts into safeguarding the status and inherent dignity of the human person as well as the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms”. In order to ensure the continuation of these efforts, the Observatory strongly urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to conform with international human rights standards.
Please write to the authorities in Iran urging them to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Emadeddin Baghi, Mrs. Fatemeh Kamali Ahmad Sarahi and Ms. Maryam Baghi;
ii. Ensure that Mr. Emadeddin Baghi, Mrs. Fatemeh Kamali Ahmad Sarahi and Ms. Maryam Baghi be granted a fair trial in appeal so that all the charges against them be dropped as the merely aim at sanctioning their human rights activities;
iii. Ensure Mr. Baghi’s right to freedoms of expression and movement, in compliance with international human rights standards;
iv. Put an end to all acts of harassment against all Iranian human rights defenders;
v. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, above-mentioned Article 6(b) and 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”;
vi. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Iran.
· Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98.21.649.5880 / 21.774.2228, Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com;
· President, His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.649.5880, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
· Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98.21.879.6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567, Email: Irjpr@iranjudiciary.com;
· Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mr. Manuchehr Motaki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Av, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.390.1999, Email: email@example.com;
· 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;
· Ambassador Mr. Ahani, Embassy of Iran in Brussels, avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 15 A. 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email: email@example.com.
Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Iran in your respective country.
Paris – Geneva, August 2, 2007
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29