Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International

Iran: Further information: Imprisoned protestors temporarily free

Amnesty International
May 21, 2010
Appeal/Urgent Action

Further information on UA 214/09: Index: MDE 13/055/2010

Behzad Nabavi and Kian Tajbakhsh remain at liberty after they were released temporarily on bail.

Behzad Nabavi, a former parliamentarian, who had been released for 20 days for medical treatment on 16 March 2010, has not yet been returned to prison. He is serving a five-year prison sentence after being convicted of “acting against national security”.

Kian Tajbakhsh, an academic who has dual Iranian-US nationality, was released temporarily on bail for 15 days on 13 March 2010. He has also not been returned to prison. Kian Tajbakhsh was initially imprisoned for 15 years. His sentence was reduced to five years on appeal. He was convicted for “acting against national security” and “espionage and contacting foreigners in opposition to the system".

Others also currently released on bail include seven men: Hossein Rassam, an Iranian employee of the British Embassy in Tehran, former Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi, former Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Atrianfar, former Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh, former government spokesperson Abdollah Ramazanzadeh, former member of parliament Mohsen Mirdamadi, and Maziar Bahari, a Canadian-Iranian reporter for the magazine Newsweek, who was then allowed to leave Iran. Most have been sentenced to prison terms. Their appeals could be heard at any time, and if their appeals are rejected, they could be re-imprisoned immediately.

On 18 April 2010, Mohsen Mirdamadi was sentenced to six years in prison for "acting against state security" and "propaganda against the state". On 8 May 2010, Maziar Bahari, who is now out of the country, was sentenced in absentia to 13 years imprisonment and 74 lashes. This consisted of four years for collecting and keeping secret and classified documents in reference to a court document concerning the Freedom Movement of Iran, a banned political party; one year for “propaganda against the system”; two years for “insulting the Supreme Leader” on the grounds of a private email; two years and 74 lashes for disturbing public order for filming security forces opening fire during demonstrations and six months for “insulting the President” for a picture that someone else had tagged on Maziar Bahari’s Facebook page. The imposition of this sentence and other recent sentences – such as the sentence of six years and 74 lashes imposed in absentia on lawyer and women’s rights Shadi Sadr in connection with a peaceful gathering in March 2007 (see UA 52/07 and follow-ups) - appears to be intended as a warning to those who may report on the situation in Iran in the run-up to and during the anniversary of the disputed presidential election of 2009.

If any of these individuals are imprisoned again, Amnesty International would consider them to be prisoners of conscience and would call for their immediate and unconditional release.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals. Amnesty International will take further action as necessary should any of the above be rearrested.

This is the third update of UA 214/09 (MDE 13/083/2009). Further information:www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/083/2009/en