Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category


Sajad Sanjari, 26, was hanged at dawn on Monday with his family only informed afterwards and told to collect his body

The Iranian authorities have secretly executed a young man who was a child at the time of his arrest and had spent nearly a decade on death row, Amnesty International has learned.  Sajad Sanjari, 26, was hanged in Dizelabad prison in Kermanshah province at dawn on Monday (2 August), but his family were not told until a prison official asked them to collect his body later that day.  

In August 2010, Sanjari, then 15, was arrested over the fatal stabbing of a man he said had tried to rape him, claiming he had acted in self-defence. At his trial, the court rejected Sanjari’s self-defence claim after several witnesses attested to the deceased’s good character. He was convicted and sentenced to death in January 2012. 

The conviction and death sentence were initially rejected by Iran’s Supreme Court in December 2012, due to various flaws in the investigation process, but were eventually upheld in February 2014. 

In June 2015, Sanjari was granted a retrial after new juvenile sentencing guidelines were introduced which granted judges discretion to replace the death penalty with an alternative punishment if they determined that a child offender had not understood the nature of the crime or its consequences, or if there were doubts about their “mental growth and maturity”. However, a criminal court in Kermanshah province re-resentenced Sanjari to death on 21 November that year after concluding, without explanation, that he had attained “maturity” at the time of the crime. 

The court did not refer Sanjari to the Legal Medicine Organisation of Iran – a state forensic institute – for an assessment, and dismissed an opinion of an official court advisor with expertise in child psychology that Sanjari had not attained maturity at the time of the crime. During his first trial, the court had found that Sanjari had reached “maturity” at 15 on the basis of his “pubic hair development”.

Sanajri’s death sentence was subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court and a later request for a retrial was denied. In January 2017, the Iranian authorities halted Sanjari’s scheduled execution, following an international outcry

Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Middle East Deputy Director, said: 

“With the secret execution of Sajad Sanjari, the Iranian authorities have yet again demonstrated the utter cruelty of their juvenile justice system. 

“The use of the death penalty against people who were under 18 at the time of the crime is absolutely prohibited under international law, and constitutes a cruel assault on child rights.

“The fact that Sajad Sanjari was executed in secret, denying him and his family even the chance to say goodbye, consolidates an alarming pattern of the Iranian authorities carrying out executions in secret or at short notice to minimise the chances of public and private interventions to save people’s lives. 

“We urge the Iranian authorities to put an end to these abhorrent violations of the right to life and children’s rights by amending the penal code to ban the use of the death penalty against anyone who was under 18 at the time of the crime.” 

Two others arrested as children at risk of execution

Two other young men – Hossein Shahbazi and Arman Abdolali – sentenced to death for crimes that took place when they were 17 are currently at imminent risk of execution. Their trials were marred by serious violations, including the use of torture-tainted “confessions”. Shahbazi’s execution was scheduled for 25 July 2021 but postponed at the last minute following an international outcry. His execution could be rescheduled at any moment.

Amnesty has identified more than 80 individuals across Iran who are currently on death row for crimes that took place when they were children. In 2020, Amnesty recorded the executions of at least three people convicted for crimes that took place when they were under 18, making Iran the only country in the world to carry out such executions. Since January 2005, Amnesty has recorded the executions of at least 95 individuals who were under 18 years of age at the time of the crimes of which they had been convicted. The real numbers of those at risk and executed are likely to be higher. 

According to Iranian law, in cases of murder and certain other capital crimes, boys aged above 15 lunar years and girls aged above nine lunar years may be held as culpable as adults and can, therefore, be punished with the death penalty. As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran is legally obliged to treat anyone under the age of 18 as a child and ensure that they are never subjected to the death penalty or life imprisonment. 

Source: Amnesty International


This is an urgent action on behalf of Jamshid Sharmahd, a German/Iranian who is at risk of execution following a grossly unfair trial. He has been arbitrarily held for around 8 months and has no access to an independent lawyer. There are fears that he is not receiving adequate health care.

If you can spare time to write that would be appreciated.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/tags/death-penalty


Two prisoners at risk of execution in Iran

Death row prisoners from Iran’s Baluchi ethnic minority, Hamed Rigi and Mehran Naru’i, are at risk of execution. They have been subjected to serious human rights violations including enforced disappearance and torture and other ill-treatment to extract “confessions” used to convict and sentence them to death in unfair trials.

Since mid-December 2020, the Iranian authorities have executed 18 Baluchi men, raising fears that Hamed Rigi and Mehran Naru’i may be executed imminently.

Fuller details and a model form of words can be found here and we hope you can find time to write.


Members of the Salisbury group might like to know we hope to hold a Zoom meeting on 11 March in the evening.


Iranian-Swedish academic at risk of imminent execution for the crime of ‘corruption on earth’

We have received the urgent action concerning Ahmadreza Djalili who is at risk of execution in Tehran.  He suffered a grossly unfair trial based on confessions obtained using torture and other ill-treatment.  If you have time, please write – the details can be found on the attached link. Thank you.

Urgent action details

Nazanin Ratcliffe

Posted: November 2, 2020 in Iran
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We have received the following post concerning the continuing imprisonment of Nazanin from our local MP:

Thank you for contacting me about Nazanin-Zaghari Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori.

Please be assured that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office continues to work hard to assist British nationals detained in Iran.  This must be an incredibly distressing time for Nazanin and Anoosheh and their families.  Like you, I want to see them both released immediately.

I am told that the UK Embassy in Tehran continues to request consular access to Mr Ashoori and has been supporting his family.  The UK regularly calls on Iran to release all British-Iranian nationals arbitrarily detained, including Mr Ashoori.

I recognise that Nazanin’s ongoing furlough does not represent the real objective of securing Nazanin’s permanent release.  However, I have been assured that the UK’s lobbying efforts remain focused on getting Nazanin home.  It is completely unacceptable that Iran has brought new charges against Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and she must not be returned to prison.

Iran must know the strength of the UK’s convictions regarding this, so it is encouraging that on 29 October, the Iranian Ambassador was summoned to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.  It was made clear to the Iranian ambassador that his country’s treatment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is unjustified and unacceptable, and is causing an enormous amount of distress.

The UK continues to call on Iran to live up to its responsibilities under international human rights law and the Vienna convention and release dual nationals. Cases continue to be raised at the most senior levels, and discussed at every opportunity with Iranian counterparts.

[…]

Iran releases human rights worker

Posted: October 9, 2020 in Iran
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Narges Mohammadi

We are pleased to announce the release of Narges Mohammadi (pictured) who was unjustly jailed in 2015.  She was facing a prison sentence of 16 years.  Since June she has been in declining health and was showing signs of coronavirus but declined health care.  She has been the subject of an Amnesty campaign.  She has been reunited with her husband and she can now receive health care.

We are grateful for all the support of all those who wrote or sent emails as part of the campaign.


More bad news

[8 September 2020]

We have just heard the sad and troubling news that Nazanin has been re-arrested by the Iranian authorities.  We do not know the charge.  It appears to be part of the effort by the Iranian government to put pressure on the British government concerning a debt they allege we should pay concerning tanks which were paid for but not supplied.  Amnesty said it was part of their ‘cruel political games’.  We do not have further details at present.


We have added Fortify Rights web address in the list of links at the bottom of the site.  

Nazanin Ratcliffe

Posted: July 15, 2020 in Iran
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The shameful saga of Nazanin Ratcliffe continues and she is under house arrest with the risk of going back to prison at any moment.  She keeps a bag packed for the eventuality.  You can read the current situation in full on this link from Change.org.  If you haven’t signed the petition perhaps you might consider doing so on the link.


Women in Iran at risk

As news spreads that Iran could be facing a second wave of coronavirus due to an increase in the number of cases, the health and safety of Nasrin, Yasaman and other imprisoned women’s rights activists remains at risk.  Now more than ever, we must increase the pressure on Iranian authorities to release these women immediately.

Our campaigning has helped secure the release of prisoners of conscience in Iran before.  Please can help us do it again.  Please watch and share our post, featuring Iranian-born actress and Amnesty Ambassador, Nazanin Boniadi who has campaigned with us since 2008 on the unjust conviction and treatment of Iranian youth, women and prisoners of conscience.

 

Good News!

Posted: May 12, 2020 in "Human rights", Iran
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Good news from Iran

In these times of gloom and lockdown, it is good to have some good news.  Many Amnesty people have written on behalf of Kama Foroughi and it is possible that anyone reading this in the Salisbury area has signed a petition for us.  We have just received this letter via Amnesty which we think is worth publishing on this site.

I am writing to say a big thank you.

You may have heard that my 80 year old Dad Kamal Foroughi returned to London in March to see us his family for the first time in nine years – if not I am delighted to bring you the great news. Dad had been released from Evin prison in 2018, and had waited since then to receive his renewed Iranian passport to be allowed legally to leave Iran. The passport arrived this February, at a time when flights were very busy due to coronavirus and Iranian New Year so it took a few more weeks to get Dad home.

Nine years is an extraordinary time to be kept away from family. Dad was taken to Evin prison in early May 2011 – days after the marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Since then Dad has missed the growth of smartphones, the London 2012 Olympics, Andy Murray winning Wimbledon twice, Brexit, England winning the cricket and (more importantly for us) the primary school years of his two granddaughters – both of whom make our family so proud.

Your support gave us comfort and helped Dad return to London. Over 29,000 Amnesty Supporters, wrote Urgent Action letters, signed Amnesty petitions and wrote lovely birthday messages for Dad which were delivered to the Iranian embassy as part of peaceful protests. We are so grateful to you.

More generally, your public advocacy and standing up for human rights is so essential to bring an end to the plight of arbitrarily detained and powerless prisoners from all over the world. Maybe the coronavirus challenges will focus our leaders’ minds and encourage them to release more prisoners around the world to the love and care of their families, particularly where there are significant legal, medical and humanitarian concerns with their detention.

Thank you so much,
Kamran Foroughi