Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International

Iran: Possible prisoner of conscience/Fear of torture and ill-treatment/Medical concern: Hadi Qabel (m)

Amnesty International
September 24, 2007
Appeal/Urgent Action

AI Index: MDE 13/112/2007

UA 249/07 Possible prisoner of conscience/Fear of torture and ill-treatment/Medical concern

IRAN Hadi Qabel (m), cleric

Cleric Hadi Qabel was reportedly arrested by Special Court for the Clergy (SCC) officials at his home on 12 September in the city of Qom, southwest of Tehran. His whereabouts are now unknown and he is at risk of torture. He has a heart condition, and may not be receiving adequate medical care.

Hadi Qabel is a member of the central committee of a reformist political group, the Iranian Islamic Participation Front (IIPF).

The five officials reportedly arrested him after searching his house for an hour. They reportedly took his personal documents and his computer, and asked him about religious matters, but gave no reason for arresting him. As Hadi Qabel had recently undergone an open heart surgery, his family reportedly asked him to break his Ramadan fast while in detention, but he refused to do so.

Hadi Qabel hasreportedly appeared before the Special Court for the Clergy (SCC) accused of "causing disorder", and his speeches and interviews have also reportedly been used as evidence against him. According to his son, Ruhollah Qabel, the family have not been allowed to see him or to hire a lawyer to represent him.


The Special Court for the Clergy, which operates outside the framework of the judiciary and is under the direct control of the Supreme Leader, was established in 1987 by Ayatollah Khomeini to try members of the Shi’a religious establishment in Iran. Its procedures fall short of international standards for fair trial: among other things, defendants can only be represented by clergymen nominated by the court, who are not required to be legally qualified. In some cases the defendant has been unable to find any nominated cleric willing to undertake the defence and has been tried without any legal representation. The court can hand down sentences including flogging and the death penalty.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

- asking why Hadi Qabel was arrested, what charges he is facing and whether he has been brought before a court;

- urging the authorities to ensure that he is protected from torture or ill-treatment;

- urging the authorities to allow Hadi Qabel immediate and regular access to his family and a lawyer of his choice;

- asking the authorities to allow him immediate access to all necessary medical treatment;

- calling on the authorities to release him unless he is to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and tried promptly and fairly;

- reminding the authorities that Amnesty International would consider anyone detained solely on account of the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression or association, who has not used or advocated violence, to be a prisoner of conscience, who should be released immediately and unconditionally;

- expressing concern that trials before the Special Court for the Clergy are inherently unfair, and urging the Iranian authorities to abolish it, unless they can reform it so as to bring its practices into line with international standards for fair trial.


Leader of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: [email protected]

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad Square,

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: [email protected] (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Intelligence

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency



His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: [email protected]

via website: www.president.ir/email

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 5 November 2007.