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Iran: Further information on fear of death penalty / prisoners of conscience

, رقم الوثيقة: MDE 13/020/1998

Four employees of the Iranian daily newspaper Tous, Mashallah Shamsolva'ezin, Hamid Reza Jalaipour, Mohammad Javadi Hessar and Rahim Nabavi, may be tried with general charges of subversion, which could lead to heavy penalties. There is a further concern that they could be charged with the offence of moharebeh ba khoda (‘enmity with God') which, if they are convicted, carries a mandatory death sentence.

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/20/98
22 October 1998
Further information on UA 254/98 (MDE 13/14/98, 22 September 1998) and follow-up
(MDE 13/19/98, 21 October 1998) - Fear of death penalty / Prisoners of conscience
/ Fear of Torture / Health concerns
IRAN Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin
Hamid Reza Jalaipour
Mohammad Javadi Hessar
Ibrahim Nabavi
Journalists Mohammad Javadi Hessar and Ibrahim Nabavi were released on bail
on 22 October 1998. Amnesty International had also just learned of the release
of their colleague Hamid Reza Jalaipour on 13 October 1998.
Concern continues, however, for the well-being of Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin
who remains in custody. He reportedly has kidney problems and is in general
ill-health, exacerbated by the harsh conditions of detention, amounting to
possible ill-treatment and torture.
In a press statement given after his release, Hamid Reza Jalaipour reportedly
stated that he and his colleagues had been held in solitary confinement and
had been subjected to “indirect psychological torture”.
The men, employees of the Iranian daily newspaper Tous, were arrested between
16 and 20 September after the paper printed an article which reportedly
questioned the recent policies of the Iranian government in Afghanistan. This
came amidst calls by some Iranian leaders for tighter controls over the press.
Tous was banned on 16 September and its offices raided by members of the
Revolutionary Guard. Amnesty International was concerned that the men were
at threat of being tried under charges, including subversion, that could result
in the death penalty.
The organization regards Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin as a prisoner of conscience.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail
letters in English or in your own language:
- welcoming the release of Hamid Reza Jalaipour, Mohammad Javadi Hessar and
Ibrahim Nabavi but asking for the immediate and unconditional release of
Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin who appears to be detained solely for the peaceful
expression of his views and as such is a prisoner of conscience;
- expressing concern that Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin is reported to be in poor
health as a result of the harsh conditions of his detention;
- seeking urgent clarification of the exact offences with which the men are
charged;
- asking that any charges against the men be dropped if it is for reason of
their non-violent activities;
- requesting that Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin be treated humanely and that he
be granted immediate access to his family, to a lawyer of his choice, and to
any medical attention he requires;
- reminding the government of Iran of its commitment to the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, in particular Article 19 :"Everyone has the right to freedom
of opinion and expression”.
APPEALS TO:
2
Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Telegrams: Ayatollah Khamenei, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Faxes: + 98 21 650203 (via Interior Ministry, ask for fax to be
forwarded)
Salutation: Your Excellency
President
His Excellency Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Sayed Mohammad Khatami
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Telegrams: President Khatami, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Faxes: + 98 21 311 6276 (via Foreign Affairs, ask for fax to be
forwarded)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi
Ministry of Justice
Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Telegrams: Head of the Judiciary, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs
His Excellency Kamal Kharrazi
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Avenue
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Faxes: + 98 21 311 6276
Mr Mohammad Hassan Zia’i-Far
Secretary, Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 13165-137
Faxes: + 98 21 204 0541
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 3 December 1998.
”Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression”
Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Visit the Amnesty International UDHR campaign website onhttp://www.amnesty.excite. com

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