Thursday, August 6, 2009

Iran: Joint statement by Shirin Ebadi and Irene Khan

28 July 2009

The human rights crisis in Iran is deepening daily and next week’s expected inauguration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a second term as president may spark further protests and a massive new clampdown, warned Irene Khan, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, and Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi today.

“Three days ago, thousands of people in over 100 cities across the world joined in a Global Day of Action in protest at the numerous arrests, beatings and killings that have accompanied the Iranian authorities’ attempt to force through the declared election result, which is so widely disputed,” said Irene Khan. “The purpose was to express our solidarity with those whose rights are being violated in Iran, and to send a message to Iran’s Supreme Leader and those about him that the violations must cease. The world is watching.”

Shirin Ebadi, Iran’s most distinguished lawyer and human rights defender, is in London at Amnesty International’s invitation.

An organization that she founded in 2001, the Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), was summarily shut down by the Iranian authorities last December because of its efforts to promote human rights and defend people who were detained and tortured. At least three of its leading members – journalist Abdolreza Tajik as well as Abdolfattah Soltani and Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, both leading human rights lawyers – have been detained since the start of the election-related protests. Two of them are held in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, but the whereabouts of Mohammad Ali Dadkhah is unknown, raising particular fears for his safety.

“My colleagues have been rounded up because of their work to promote justice and the rule of law, and to defend the human rights of people in Iran,” said Shirin Ebadi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. “They are now languishing in jail like so many others in my country because they stand up for universal values – the rights to freedom of opinion and expression and to register one’s protest peacefully without fear of arrest or attack by strong-arm forces like the Basij.”

Irene Khan and Shirin Ebadi cautioned that international attention and efforts must not fade, however intransigent the authorities in Tehran appear.

“People in Iran need international support now more than ever as the political divisions in Tehran play themselves out,” said Shirin Ebadi. “International attention and pressure must be sustained and intensified if it is to have impact on those calling the shots in Tehran.”

“In particular, the UN needs to play a more determined and decisive role,” said Irene Khan. “Through its human rights and other mechanisms, the UN must investigate the violations taking place in Iran and compile evidence that can be used, one day, to bring those responsible to account.”

Shirin Ebadi is visiting London as part of international efforts to highlight human rights abuses in Iran and to support a worldwide action that Amnesty International is launching in defence of the CHRD and its members, and to demand that it be allowed to reopen and continue its work.

Over 100 Iranians face grossly unfair trials

4 August 2009

More than 100 people have gone on trial in Tehran accused of organizing recent widespread civil protests. The protests broke out in response to the official announcement that the 12 June presidential election was won by the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Those charged include a former Vice President and other senior former officials, an advisor to one of the presidential candidates, academics and journalists. The trial, being held before the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, is the latest in a long catalogue of unfair trials before Iran’s Revolutionary Courts, which Amnesty International has repeatedly criticized for their failure to apply international standards for fair trial.

The defendants are accused of fomenting the largely peaceful, mass demonstrations which occurred in Tehran and other centres in protest against the official election result. Many people in Iran dispute the result that said the incumbent president won by a large majority.

The accused include Mohammad Ali Abtahi, who was Vice President in the administration headed by President Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005) and an advisor to presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi during the recent election campaign; Mohammad Atrianfar, a journalist, former deputy minister and leading member of the Construction Party; other senior officials under President Khatami; Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a well-known human rights lawyer; and Maziar Bahari, an Iranian-Canadian dual national and journalist who has written for Newsweek.

According to the official IRNA news agency, the defendants face charges of rioting, attacking military and government buildings, having links with armed opposition groups and "conspiring against the ruling system". If convicted, they face up to five years in prison unless they are deemed by the trial judges to be a "mohareb" (an enemy of God), in which case they could be sentenced to death.

The trial, which began in Tehran last Saturday, has been closed to all but state media. Amnesty International has said that it bears the hallmarks of a "show trial" in which the authorities seek to pin the blame for recent unrest on those who have challenged the official election result and to deter others from continuing their protests.

The Public Prosecutor's Office has labelled the protests as "organized and planned crimes", despite their largely peaceful nature. It says it has categorized those responsible into three groups: the “plotters and inciters” of unrest, “groups affiliated to foreign services”, and “opportunists and thugs” who damaged public and private property and disturbed “the peace and security of society”.

Most or all of the defendants were detained incommunicado for several weeks before they were brought before the Revolutionary Court last Saturday. Many are reported to have been tortured or ill-treated in order to force them to “confess” to involvement in a conspiracy against the state.

Some appeared to have lost weight and to be diminished in spirit in film of the trial broadcast on Iranian state TV. At least four prominent reformists were shown telling the court that they no longer believed that the election was fraudulent. Mohammad Ali Abtahi and Mohammad Atrianfar were shown on television telling the court that every Iranian should believe in the guardianship of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi’s demeanour led his wife and daughter to express concern that his “confession” had been coerced. On 2 August, state TV showed both Mohammad Ali Abtahi and Mohammad Atrianfar denying that their “confessions” had been coerced or that they had been drugged by the authorities before the trial.

However, presidential election candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi has denounced the "confessions", saying they were extracted under "medieval-era torture", and Mohsen Rezaei, another of the presidential candidates, has questioned the fairness of the proceedings and asked publicly why no members of the security forces responsible for killings of protestors and other serious human rights violations have been brought to trial. The authorities have acknowledged some 30 killings though the true number is believed to be higher.

Saleh Nikbakht, a lawyer representing Mohammad Ali Abtahi and other defendants, complained on Saturday, after the trial opened: "I have not had access to the prosecution case files at any point since the arrest of my clients. I was not aware of the trial until 11am today. And I did not get permission to enter the court room."

He also questioned the legal validity of the trial: "According to article 135 of the Iranian constitution, trials held without lawyers being present are illegal."

Amnesty International has documented the routine use of torture and ill-treatment in pre-trial detention over many years. Detainees in so-called national security cases are systematically denied access to family members, lawyers and, in many cases, face restricted access to adequate medical care.

Iranian intelligence services have repeatedly had high-profile detainees filmed "confessing" to vaguely-worded charges, which are often not recognizably criminal offences. Some of these “confessions” have been aired on TV, often before their trials have taken place, compromising their right not to incriminate themselves.

Those released either before or after trial have told of the coercive techniques by which officials isolate and break detainees, who eventually agree to make “confessions” in order to end their ill-treatment. Many have later retracted such “confessions”.

In addition to the more than 100 defendants whose trial opened on Saturday and is due to continue on 6 August, 10 people whom the authorities describe as "street protestors" also went on trial before the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on Sunday. Their trial is also believed to be still continuing.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hunger Strike


Hunger Strike in Support of the Iranian People


for the Release of Political Prisoners

Date: July 22-24

Location: United Nations Building, New York

Contact: (720) 317 1016 or

The people of Iran have, with their vast presence in the June 12 presidential elections, showed that despite the fundamental faults of the electoral system in Iran, they preferred to change their destiny by peaceful and democratic means. Unfortunately the government did not respect the right of Iranian citizens to effectively participate in determining their destiny. With widespread fraud, it violated this basic right of the Iranian people on a vast scale and blatantly unleashed massive repression against its own people. Even more regrettably, the government that emerged from the coup resorted to extreme and merciless brutality against the wave of peaceful protests and arrested a large number of political activists, intellectuals, reporters, and ordinary people, in violation of legal procedures, and dispatched them to solitary confinement. According to reliable reports, the detainees are subjected to various forms of extreme psychological and physical pressure to confess to crimes they have not committed.

In solidarity with the Iranian people’s Green Movement and condemning the widespread electoral fraud, the merciless repression of the popular protests, and the illegal arrest of hundreds of citizens and activists in Iran, we the undersigned are going on hunger strike between 22 to 24 June in front of the UN building in New York. We intend to have the voice of the long-suffering Iranian people to be heard. We ask the responsible members of the world community to demand the release of all the recent prisoners. Considering the alarming condition of the recent detainees, with their health and even lives in jeopardy, we demand they be visited by representatives of the General Secretary of the UN and immediately freed.

In addition, we the undersigned call on all our compatriots living in the United States to join this protest, meeting on the above-mentioned dates in front of the UN to declare their solidarity with Iranian people’s Green Movement during these dangerous and crucial days.


1. Kazem Alamdari 2. Ali Banuazizi 3. Abdol-Ali Bazargan 4. Hossein Bashiriyeh 5. Mohammad Borghei 6. Hamid Dabashi 7. Reza Fani-Yazdi 8. Mansour Farhang 9. Nehzat Farnoody 10. Akbar Ganji 11. Fatemeh Haqiqatjoo 12. Nader Hashemi 13. Abdee Kalantari 14. Hossein Kamali 15. Mehrangiz Kar 16. Ahmad Karimi Hakkah 17. Mehrdad Mashayekhi 18. Ali Mirsepassi 19. Majid Mohammadi 20. Arash Naraghi 21. Ali Reza’I 22. Mostafa Rokhsefat 23. Ahmad Sadri 24. Mahmoud Sadri 25. Ebrahim Soltani 26. Nayereh Tohidi 27.Shirin Neshat



1.Ervand Abrahamian 2. Janet Afary 3. Taher Ahmadzadeh 4. Mehrzad Boroujerdi 5. Hassan Yousefi Eshkevari 6. Mohsen Ghaemmagham 7. Ali Keshtegar 8. Moussavi Khoeiniha 9. Mohsen Makkmalbaf 10. Reza Moini 11. Mohammad Reza Nikfar 12. Shahrnoush Parsipour 13. Ali Qodsi 14. Masoumeh Shafiee 15. Abdolkarim Soroush 16. Soheila Vahdati

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Political prisoners remain in DETENTION

At least eight political leaders remain in the custody of the Iranian Authorities, two of whom are being supervised in hospital. Ebrahim Yazdi has been released. They are all prisoners of conscience held solely on account of the peaceful expression of their views, including regarding the outcome of the election.

Seven of the eight political leaders arrested in Tehran on 16 June 2009, in connection with their perceived views on Iran’s disputed presidential election or their links with former president, Mohammad Khatami remain detained. In addition to the individuals featured in the UA (listed below) Mohsen Mirdamadi, a former senior member of parliament and of the Islamic Iran Participation Front (Jebhe-ye Mosharekat-e Iran-e Eslami) was also arrested on 13 June. Ebrahim Yazdi was released on 19 June, and was returned to a hospital in Tehran from where he had been arrested whilst undergoing tests.

Former Tehran city counsellor, advisor to former president Mohammad Khatami and investigative journalist, Said Hajjarian was transferred from Evin Prison to hospital under the control of the security forces, around on 3 July. Said Hajjarian is confined to a wheelchair following an attempted assassination in 2000. His wife was able to visit him once in prison. During her visit, Said Hajjarian told her that he had been given the medication that she had delivered to the prison two days after his arrest. On the day of the visit his blood pressure was high, for which he received no treatment, he was also in a poor psychological state. He requires, on a daily basis, specialized medicines and physiotherapy, which appears to have been denied. Mohsen Aminzadeh was also transferred to a hospital in Tehran on 4 July, for reasons unknown to Amnesty International. Both men remain incustody.

On 4 July, the lawyer representing Mohammad Ali Abtahi, Mohsen Aminzadeh, Behzad Nabavi, Abdollah Ramazanzadeh, Mostafa Tajzadeh and Mohsen Mirdamadi, said that he had not been allowed to visit any of his clients. He added that pending formal charges, they are accused of acting against ‘national security’ and that their cases would be referred to the Revolutionary Court. None of their families have been allowed to meet them. There is no new information about Mohammad Tavassoli.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

n calling on the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release the political leaders and activists (please name them) and all others arrested solely on account of their peaceful views, including about the outcome of the elections, as they are prisoners of conscience;

n urging the authorities to ensure they are allowed immediate access to their family members, lawyers of their choice and any medical treatment they may require, and that they are not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment;


Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: via website: (English) (Persian)

Salutation: Your Excellency, Ayatollah

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Office of the Head of the Judiciary

Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: (subject - FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Minister of the Interior

Sadegh Mahsouli

Ministry of the Interior

Dr Fatemi Avenue

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: +98 21 8 896 203

+98 21 8 899 547

+98 21 6 650 203

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

This is the 1st update of UA 159/09, MDE 13/058/2009


ADditional Information

In the days following the announcement on 13 June that President Ahmadinejad had won the previous day's presidential election, which hundreds of thousands of Iranians dispute, the Iranian authorities have imposed draconian restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly. Security forces, including the paramilitary Basij have been widely deployed in the streets; access to the internet and mobile phone use have been intermittently blocked or significantly interrupted. Iranian publications have been banned from publishing information about the nationwide unrest since the result was declared. Foreign journalists have been banned from the streets, their visas not renewed and some foreign reporters have been arrested or expelled from the country.

According to statements by officials recorded by Amnesty International, at least 2277 people have been arrested since 12 June by the police and Basij forces across the country during demonstrations or their aftermath. These include prominent political figures close to either Mir Hossein Mousavi, fellow presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi or former President Khatami, who supported Mir Hossein Mousavi’s campaign. Some human rights defenders, as well as journalists have also been detained. On 16 June lawyer and human rights defender Abdolfattah Soltani, was also arrested and detained (please see UA 160/09, MDE 13/059/2009, 19 June 2009: Journalist Issa Saharkhiz was arrested on 4 July and taken away to an undisclosed location (please see UA 181/09, MDE 13/067/2009, 6 July 2009: On 24 June, 70 academics met leading opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, and were arrested as they left his office. All but four were later released. Those still detained include the head of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s election campaign, Dr Ghorban Behzadian and Ardeshir Amir Arjomand who is a professor of law at Shahid Beheshti University. Hundreds of others have been arrested during demonstrations against the outcome of the election which have been met with excessive use of force. Officials acknowledge at least 21 killed although the true number is likely to be higher.

In custody: Mohammad Ali Abtahi, Mohsen Aminzadeh, Behzad Nabavi, Abdollah Ramazanzadeh, Mostafa Tajzadeh and Mohsen Mirdamadi, Mohammad Tavassoli, Said Hajjarian.

Further Information on UA: 159/09, Index: MDE 13/068/09, Issue Date: 08 July 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Arrests and killings rise as election protests grip Iran

Arrests and killings rise as election protests grip Iran

Amnesty Report

© AP GraphicsBank" href="/sites/" rel="lightbox[gallery]">Protester alleged to have been injured by gunfire from pro-government militia is helped by another protester, Tehran.

Protester alleged to have been injured by gunfire from pro-government militia is helped by another protester, Tehran.

© AP GraphicsBank

17 June 2009

Demonstrations against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed election victory have spread to all corners of the country. New reports suggest that around 15 protesters have been killed and hundreds more injured or arrested by security forces.

Up to two million people, including supporters of opposition leader Hossein Mousavi, took to the streets in Tehran on Monday to protest the outcome of the election. Large numbers massed again on Tuesday afternoon despite government threats that they would clamp down on "illegal protests".

Elsewhere in Iran, similar protests against the announcement of President Ahmadinejad's re-election have been met with an excessive force by police and security forces. In addition to seven protesters killed in Tehran, three people are reported to have died in Oroumiye and Shiraz.

While the arrest of dozens of political activists in the capital has been widely reported, less attention has been paid to the situation in provincial towns and cities.

In Tabriz, north-western Iran, 17 political activists, including doctors and those affiliated to the Nehzat-e Azadi (Iran Freedom Movement) are reported to have been detained and taken to unspecified locations on Monday night after they staged a peaceful protest in the city's Abresan Square.

Among those arrested was Doctor Ghaffari Farzadi, a leading member of the Iran Freedom Movement and a lecturer at Tabriz University.

Students appear to have been particularly targeted. Security forces entered dormitories at Tabriz University on Monday and detained 10 students who had been involved in demonstrations. On Tuesday, activist and student leader Amir Mardani was among hundreds more people detained.

In the city of Oroumiye, also in north-western Iran, local media reported on Tuesday that two people had been killed and hundreds more detained after a crackdown on around 3,000 protesters in Imam Street.

In Shiraz, southern Iran, security forces used tear gas as they forced their way into a university library. Reports say that several students were beaten and around 100 were detained. Unconfirmed reports suggest that one person may have been killed.

In the northern town of Babol, armed paramilitaries and plain-clothed officials are reported to have surrounded Babol University and targeted students in dormitories.

This scenario was repeated in other centres. In Mashhad, in the north-east, there were further reports of security forces attacking students and in Zahedan, in Iran’s southeast, two students are among at least three activists who have been detained

Amnesty International has called on the Iranian authorities to exercise restraint in their policing of any further demonstrations in connection with the election result and to end attacks on students. The organisation is looking into the reported deaths.

Read More

Violence against demonstrators marks new presidential term in Iran (News, 15 June 2009)
Iran's presidential election amid unrest and ongoing human rights violations (News, 5 June 2009)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jelveh and Aung San, Defending Humanity, Defending

Jelveh and Aung San, Defending Humanity, Defending Conscience

By Elahe Amani

Friday 29 May 2009

Jelveh Javaheri of Iran and Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma have many differences at personal and political level. But, other than sharing the same biology, they have one thing in common, they both are prisoners of conscience by authoritarian states in countries where respect for human rights and human dignity is undermined and violated.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the acclaimed Burma leader and Nobel Peace Laureate in her famous speech “ All we want is our freedom” in 2003 said “As I travel through my country, people often ask me how it feels to have been imprisoned in my home —first for six years, then for 19 months. How could I stand the separation from family and friends? It is ironic, I say, that in an authoritarian state it is only the prisoner of conscience who is genuinely free. Yes, we have given up our right to a normal life. But we have stayed true to that most precious part of our humanity—our conscience.”

Aung San Suu Kyi was confined to a dilapidated house for 13 of the last 19 years, the woman known to the Burmese as ’the lady’ remains their prime minister-elect. She has been detained under house arrest by the country’s military regime under article ten of the 1975 state protection act, which permits the government to imprison anyone for up to five years. With her latest term of house arrest due to expire tomorrow, the Nobel peace prize laureate faces five years in prison over politically-motivated charges that she breached the terms of her detention. She is a prisoner of conscience.

Jelveh Javaheri, the young, vibrant and inspiring women activist in Iran like Aung San Suu Kyi has given up a “normal life” to stay true to her conscience and strive to change the discriminatory laws against women and girls in Iran. She, like thousands of Iranian women and men, demand what belongs to her and other women as human beings which is rights and dignity. She is also in detention and a prisoner of conscience.

Change for Equality, on May 2nd reported that six members of One Million Signatures Campaign, the campaign to change the discriminatory laws, were arrested during and after a peaceful demonstration which was held to celebrate May 1st. The police forces attacked the demonstrators even before they congregated and left many of the people with bloody faces.

There were more than 150 arrested and among them was Campaign activist Kaveh Mozafari, Jelveh’s husband. Jelveh was home when the intelligence forces raided their residence taking everything that potentially might have been useful to fabricate a case for pressing a charge against them including unthinkable and random items such as , Jelveh and Kaveh’s University degrees!!

Jelveh Javaheri

They asked Jelveh Javaheri to go with them for questioning at the local office. Jelveh, being arrested before knew her rights and asked for a court order but there was no legal document ordering her arrest. With the use of force, three security guards arrested Jelveh while her mother who was witnessing the scene, yelled at the guards, “ You are putting handcuffs on the hands of freedom”. The Security Branch of the Revolutionary Courts charged her with actions against national security and collusion with the intent to participate in a protest, and disruption of public order. According to reports by Jelveh herself, she objected to these charges and explained that she was arrested in her home and had not participated in any protest. After conducting investigations officials realized their mistake. No new charges have been brought against her since she was not even at the protest.

Many of the workers, students and all Campaign activist who were arrested on May 1st peaceful gathering, are released but Jelveh and her husband remain in detention. A wide range of human rights, labor activists and women’s rights groups and websites including but not limited to Change for Equality, Kanoon Zanan, and Feminist School condemned the brutal and violent suppression of May Day peaceful gathering and demanded an end to the illegal detention of Jelveh Javaheri, a founding member of the One Million Signatures Campaign and women’s rights defender and Kaveh Mozafari, also a women’s rights defender and a Campaign member.

Of all the women who were arrested on May 1st, Jelveh is the only woman who is still in detention. In a recent interview of Radio Zamaneh with Jelveh’s mother who witnessed her arrest, she said “My daughter was dragged out barefoot and taken away as part of her husband’s property! There is no other reason for her arrest and on-going detention”.

The Irony of the May Day encounter with protesters lies in the fact that the Iranian government which has a tall records of human rights violations, claims to be the government of “ Mostazafin ”, the government of poor, oppressed and economically marginalized people, the government of the toiling masses. The statesmen of Iran shake hands with leaders like Chaves, allow posters of Che Guevara to be distributed and Che’s mural be painted on the public walls while crashing May Day celebrations and signing economic treaties with global economic powers that compromises the best interest of Iranian people. They claim to be at the front line of struggle against “Big Satan and Global Estekbar” (loosely means global arrogance) and question human rights violations in Iraq and Guantanamo, yet violating the rights of people to freedom of speech and assembly, inflicting violence on a peaceful gathering on the International Worker’s Day and detain rights activists illegally and on unfounded charges or even without any charges. This is Turbo Hypocrisy!

The realities of our world and complexities that the intersection of global patterns such as globalization, militarization and the rise of religious fundamentalism present, charge all progressive people, women rights defenders, social justice activists and human rights organizations and communities to set their minds free of the old paradigms and look at the world with a lens sensitive to gender, race, economic and social stratifications. As Audre Lorde said “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” The global struggle of conscientious people for rights, dignity, democracy and justice are all part of the fabric of humanity that women like Jelveh Javaheri and Aung San Suu Kyi are standing firm to defend. They inspire all of us to be true to the most precious part of our humanity—our conscience.

Open letter to Shahrudi:

An eye witness account:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amnesty International - Iran: Delara Darabi, juvenile offender, at risk of execution

AI Index: MDE 13/031/2009
09 April 2009
UA 98/09 - Fear of imminent execution
IRAN - Delara Darabi (f) aged 22, juvenile offender

Delara Darabi's lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, fears that his client is at imminent risk of being executed. This follows a telephone call he received from Delara Darabi on 21 March in which she said that she had heard rumours in Rasht Prison that she would be executed. Delara Darabi has been detained at Rasht Prison, in northern Iran since her arrest in 2003 and sentenced to death for murder for a crime she committed when she was 17.

Normal legal avenues in her case have been exhausted, though domestic and international concerns about her situation appear to have resulted in repeated and slow-moving legal reviews. To ensure that she will not be executed however, all the members of the victim’s family must agree to accept diyeh, or payment, sometimes called ‘blood money’ in exchange for her pardon. One relative is said to be undecided as to his wishes.

In September 2003, a then 17-year old Delara Darabi and her 19-year-old boyfriend Amir Hossein Sotoudeh broke into her father’s 58-year-old female cousin Mahin’s house to commit a burglary. Amir Hossein allegedly killed the woman during the burglary. Delara Darabi initially confessed to the murder in order to protect her boyfriend from execution, claiming that he had told her that as she was 17 she could not be executed. She subsequently retracted her confession.

Delara Darabi was initially sentenced to death by Branch 10 of the General Court in Rasht on 27 February 2005. In January 2006, the Supreme Court found "deficiencies" in the case and sent it to a children’s court in Rasht for retrial. Following two trial sessions in January and June 2006, Delara Darabi was sentenced to death for a second time by Branch 107 of the General Court in Rasht. Amir Hossein Sotoudeh was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for complicity in the murder. Both received sentences of three years’ imprisonment and 50 lashes for robbery, and 20 lashes for an "illicit relationship". Delara Darabi’s death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on 16 January 2007.

In March 2007, her lawyer filed an appeal against her death sentence. In April 2007 her death sentence was confirmed following a further review by Branch 7 of the Supreme Court, after which the verdict was sent to the Head of the Judiciary for consideration. In December 2007, as a result of procedural flaws having been identified, the Head of Judiciary reportedly returned the case to Rasht for a further review. In February 2008, human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaie was reported to have visited Delara Darabi in prison. She was said to be very depressed and told Mohammad Mostafaie that she was tired of the waiting and of her unbearable life in prison. For further information please see: UA 04/06, MDE 13/001/2006, 6 January 2006 and follow-ups.

Iran has executed at least 42 juvenile offenders since 1990, eight of them in 2008 and one on 21 January 2009.

The execution of juvenile offenders is prohibited under international law, as stated in Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to which Iran is a state party, and so has undertaken not to execute anyone for crimes committed when they were under 18.

In Iran a person convicted of murder has no right to seek pardon or commutation from the state, in violation of Article 6(4) of the ICCPR. The family of a murder victim have the right either to insist on execution, or to pardon the killer and receive financial compensation (diyeh).

For more information about executions of child offenders in Iran, please see Iran: The last executioner of children (Index: MDE 13/059/2007), June 2007, (

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:
- expressing great concern at reports that Delara Darabi may be at imminent risk of execution for a crime committed when she was under 18;
- calling for re-trial of the case in proceedings meeting international standards for fair trial and in line with the Convention of the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is a state party:
- urging the Iranian authorities to commute her death sentence;
- reminding the authorities that Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which prohibit the use of the death penalty against people convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18.

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri
Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency

Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
via website: (English)
Salutation: Your Excellency

Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying)
Email: (In the subject line write: FAO Javad Larijani)
Salutation: Dear Mr Larijani

and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 21 May 2009.

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