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UA 168/94 - Iran: fear of torure / fear of death penalty: Ali Akbar Saidi-Sirjani

, Index number: MDE 13/003/1994

Ali Akbar Saidi-Sirjani, a writer in his late 60s/early 70s, was arrested on 14 March 1994. He is believed to be held incommunicado. Recent reports in the Iranian press allege that he was arrested for, and has confessed to, using drugs, making alcoholic beverages, homsexual acts, links with espionage networks and receiving money from "counter-revolutionary" circles in the West. Some of the above charges carry the death penalty. Ali Akbar Saidi-Sirjani, a well-known poet, essayist and satirist, has openly criticized government censorship in Iran.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 13/03/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 168/94 Fear of Torture/Fear of Death Penalty 28 April 1994
IRAN Ali Akbar Saidi-Sirjani
Amnesty International fears that Ali Akbar Saidi-Sirjani, a writer in his
sixties, may be at risk of execution.
Ali Akbar Saidi-Sirjani was arrested on 14 March 1994, his current whereabouts
are unknown and he is believed to be held in incommunicado detention. He was
arrested ostensibly for the possession of drugs. However, according to recent
reports in the Iranian press, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Intelligence
and Security stated that Ali Akbar Saidi-Sirjani was arrested for, and has
allegedly confessed to, using drugs, making alcoholic beverages, homosexual
acts, links with espionage networks and receiving money from
'counter-revolutionary' circles based in the West. If he was convicted of
the above charges, some of which carry the death penalty, he may be sentenced
to death. There have also been reports of demonstrations outside government
buildings calling for his execution.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Ali Akbar Saidi-Sirjani, a well-known poet, essayist and satirical writer,
was arrested on 14 March while visiting a friend, and the authorities apparently
raided his home the same day. He is said to have criticised the government
openly, condemning censorship of dissenting voices in Iran. According to some
reports, he was arrested after distributing bound photocopies of his books
in response to an editorial in Kayhan-e-Havaie, a major Iranian daily newspaper,
which accused him of having written against Islam in his books. Most of his
writings are effectively banned in Iran as he has been unable to obtain a permit
to have them bound and distributed.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams, telexes and airmail letters either
in English or in your own language:
- requesting clarification of the reasons and legal basis for Ali Akbar
Saidi-Sirjani's arrest and details of any legal proceedings being followed
in his case;
- urging that he is humanely treated and given prompt access to lawyers of
his own choosing, his family and to medical treatment if necessary;
- urging his immediate and unconditional release if he is being held solely
for exercising his right to freedom of expression.
APPEALS TO:
1) His Excellency Hojjatoleslam
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran
Telegrams: President Rafsanjani, Tehran, Iran
2
Telexes: 214231 MITI IR; 213113 PRIM IR
(marked for the attention of President Rafsanjani)
Salutation: Your Excellency
2) His Excellency Ayatollah
Seyed Ali Khamanei
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran
Telexes: 214231 MITI IR; 213113 PRIM IR
3) His Excellency Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi
Head of the Judiciary
Ministry of Justice
Park-e Shahr
Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran
Telegrams: Justice Minister, Tehran, Iran
Telexes: 214231 MITI IR; 213113 PRIM IR
(marked for the attention of the Interior Minister)
Salutation: Your Excellency
4) His Excellency
Mohammad Ali Besharati Jahromi
Minister of Interior
Ministry of Interior
Dr Fatemi Avenue
Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Tehran, Iran
Telexes: 214231 MITI IR, 213113 PRIM IR
(marked for the attention of the Interior Minister)
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
His Excellency
Dr Ali Akbar Velayati
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Avenue
Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran
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 9 June 1994.

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