Iran: Release human rights activists from unjust imprisonment
The space for human rights activism in Iran is rapidly shrinking, as the state’s judicial and security bodies intensify their crackdown. But anti-death penalty campaigners, women’s and minority rights activists, trade unionists, and many others bravely continue to speak up.
Their determination is met with severe consequences - they are locked up after grossly unfair trials, and branded as “enemies of the state” and “traitors” by the Iranian state media.
Narges Mohammadi is a distinguished and award-winning human rights activist. An inspiration to many, she speaks out against the death penalty and passionately defends women’s rights. She has already served six years in prison for her work at the Centre for Human Rights Defenders. She has now been sentenced to a further 16 years behind bars. Narges has suffered seizures in prison and requires specialized medical care which she cannot receive there. She has been cruelly separated from her family, including her two young children, Ali and Kiana, who she has not seen for two years.
Arash Sadeghi has been sentenced to 19 years in prison. His crime? Peaceful human rights activities, including communicating with Amnesty International. Arash’s treatment in prison has been chilling. He’s been tortured, beaten and sexually humiliated. He was arrested along with his wife, and he could hear her cries in the next cell as she, too, was interrogated. He is critically ill following a prolonged hunger strike and urgently needs specialized medical care.
Narges and Arash’s cases are just the tip of the iceberg. Dozens of others in Iran are being harassed, and some even tortured and jailed – just for having the courage to speak out against injustice.
But we can find the spark of courage in all of us to speak out for what’s right. Join us, and call on Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif to:
- Release immediately and unconditionally Narges Mohammadi and Arash Sadeghi
- Release all other human rights defenders who have been imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their rights and, until they are released, make sure that all they are given the medical care they need, and if necessary are taken outside prison to receive it;
- Make sure that the criminal justice system is not used to target human rights defenders for their peaceful activities, and ensure a safe and enabling environment where it is possible to defend and promote human rights without fear of reprisal, punishment or intimidation.
We won’t stop until they’re all free. Sign the petition now and let Iran know that the world is watching.