Monday, October 12, 2009

Second Open Letter to Mr Ban Ki-Moon

Dear Secretary General of United Nations Mr Ban Ki-Moon,

We are writing to draw your attention to the alarming situation of political prisoners in Iran. Recently five death sentences were issued to prisoners in respect to charges arising from post-election protests in Iran. These executions are regrettably scheduled to take place soon.

With all due respect, we urge you to call upon the Iranian authorities to commute these death sentences.

Among the five condemned is Mr. Mohammad Ali Zamani who received a death sentence on Oct. 8 2009. He is among hundreds of detainees who on June 12th were brought collectively before Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. In reality, Mr. Zamani was arrested before the presidential election in relation to his membership in a monarchist circle. He was in prison during both the election and the post-electoral riots in Iran. However, he is sentenced to the death, convicted of taking part in the post-electoral protests.

And last day, on 21/11/2009 the “Human Rights News Agency” reported that his death sentence was confirmed by Iranian Judiciary. This development convinced us to write to you again and to ask for urgent action.

Three other prisoners are awaiting execution. Arash Rahmanpour, Hamed Rouhaninejad, and Davoud Faricheh Mirardebili are convicted of membership of monarchist circle. The fifth, Nasser Abdolhosseini, is sentenced to death on charges of connections with the People’s Mojahedin Organization. The accused were forced to confess against their own will and to implicate themselves by reading statements prepared by the judicial authorities.

There are reports that these scheduled executions are a prelude to a more wide-spread wave of executions of the many political prisoners in Iran. The IRI, has a shameful record of such acts. The 1988 massacre of political prisoners, when a conservatively estimated 2-5 thousand prisoners were executed in a matter of few months, is only one example.

Human rights violations have a long history in Iran and are a matter of record. Since the June 2009 elections, and the ensuing protests by large groups of Iranians, the situation has deteriorated rapidly. Arrested protesters were forced to make collective confessions. The Iranian regime largely uses methods of torture, rape, psychological torture such as drugs, and acts of violence on persons close to the accused, to extract false confessions. These ‘confessions’ are then used as the grounds for sentencing the accused. The Iranian Courts are frequently acting in contravention of the very Constitution of the IRI. Consequently the people of Iran have no resort to appeal these unjust sentences other than reaching to international bodies such as UN.

Accordingly, we ask you and the UN for an immediate intervention to pressure the Iranian authorities for a stay of these scheduled executions. We believe that the UN is fully justified to express its deep concern regarding these planned executions, as Iran is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). We also ask UN, through your office, to send a Committee to investigate the conditions of political prisoners in Iran.


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