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IDHAE INFORMATION

 

Update March 7, 2006:

Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani was released on bail on March 6, 2006 in the morning. According to the information received, Mr. Soltani, who was detained at the Evin prison since July 30, 2005 was released after a bail of 100,000 euros was paid thanks to a solidarity movement.

 

Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani, lawyer at the Bar of Tehran, was arrested on July 30, 2005 while he was taking part in a sit-in at the Bar of Tehran in order to protest against his warrant of arrest, which Mr. Soltani considered as “illegal with respect to the Iranian Penal Code”, as well as against the search and seizure of his personal and professional belongings on order of Mr. Saïd Mortazavi, Tehran Prosecutor, on July 27, 2005

Mr. Soltani has been accused of “espionage”, without any other precisions. He is currently detained at the prison of Evin, in Tehran.

Moreover, on the same day, Mrs.
Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize and Secretary General of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre, received a message twice on her answering machine, stating that “We have Soltani, you are next”. For one week, Mrs. Ebadi has been subjected to a campaign of defamation and intimidation in the die-hard press, in particular the daily newspaper Keyhan. She is accused, among other things, of “inciting Mr. Akbar Ganji [a prominent journalist and human rights defender who has been imprisoned for more than five years in Evin prison, and who started a new hunger strike on June 16, 2005 – See Observatory Urgent Appeal IRN 001/0004/OBS 030.7] to be on hunger strike”. Finally, along with the other lawyers who are members of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre, she is subjected to acts of harassment from ultra conservatives, including Mr. Saïd Mortazavi.

 IDHAE  is deeply concerned about Mr. Soltani’s arbitrary arrest and the subsequent threats against Mrs. Ebadi, and considers that these events blatantly violate the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular article 9.3(a), which provides that everyone has the right “to complain about the policies and actions of individual officials and governmental bodies with regard to violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, by petition or other appropriate means, to competent domestic judicial, administrative or legislative authorities or any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, which should render their decision on the complaint without undue delay”, and article 12.2, which states that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.

Background information:

On July 27, 2005, Mr. Saïd Mortazavi, Tehran Prosecutor, requested the Revolution’s Court of Tehran to issue a warrant for the arrest of Mr. Soltani along with a search warrant for his home. As he was absent, the warrants were delivered to his wife and his house was searched. All his documents, files, video-tapes, books, pictures etc. were seized and transferred to the Revolutionary Public Prosecutor’s Office.

These events took place while Ms. Zahra Kazemi’s case, an Iranian-Canadian photographer who died in July 2003 from torture and ill-treatment during her detention in Iranian custody, was brought before Tehran Court of Appeal to establish the circumstances of her death and the responsible parties. On July 25, 2005, during a hearing in camera of the Court of Appeal, Mr. Soltani, lawyer of Ms. Zahra Kazemi’s family, put into question the independence and fairness of the trial, pointing out that the main officials allegedly involved in the case had not been indicted by the court, including Mr. Saïd Mortazavi.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Iranian authorities and ask them to:

 

i. guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani;

 

ii. release him immediately and ensure that ensure that Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani be granted a fair and impartial trial so that all charges against him be dropped, as they are arbitrary;

 

iii. conform with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular its article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, its article 9.3(c), which provides that everyone has the right “to offer and provide professionally qualified legal assistance or other relevant advice and assistance in defending human rights and fundamental freedoms”, and its article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

 

iv. ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Iran.

Addresses:

-         Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98 21 649 5880 / 21 774 2228 (ask fax to be forwarded to Ayatollah Khamenei), Email: webmaster@wilayah.org (on the subject line write: For the attention of the office of His Excellency, Ayatollah al Udhma Khamenei, Qom)

-         President, His Excellency Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Sayed Mohammad Khatami, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 649 588, Email: khatami@president.ir

-         Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98 21 879 6671, Email: Irjpr@iranjudiciary.com

-         Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Kamal Kharrazi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Av, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98 21 390 1999 (number may be unreliable; please mark “care of the Human Rights Department, Foreign Ministry”), Email: matbuat@mfa.gov

Source : THE OBSERVATORY

IRN 002 / 0705 / OBS 055.1

New information - IRN 002 / 0705 / OBS 055.2

Arbitrary detention

Iran


COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Saudi Arabia accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.

 

 

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