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Amnesty International

Iran: Further information on Incommunicado detention/ Fear of torture or ill-treatment/ Possible prisoner of conscience: Sherko Jihani (m)

Amnesty International
December 14, 2006
Appeal/Urgent Action

AI Index: MDE 13/137/2006

Further Information on UA 331/06 (MDE 13/135/2006, 12 December 2006) Incommunicado detention/ Fear of torture and ill-treatment/ Possible prisoner of conscience

IRAN Sherko Jihani (m), journalist and human rights defender

Iranian Kurdish journalist and human rights defender Sherko Jihani, was allowed to briefly telephone his mother and his wife on 13 December. He apparently sounded very weak, and was not able to tell them anything about his whereabouts. He is at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

His family had reportedly received a phone call on 12 December from a man who claimed to be a member of the Mahabad branch intelligence services, and told them that Sherko Jihani had died of a heart attack after falling into a coma.

He may have been detained for his peaceful activities in defence of the rights of Iran’s Kurdish minority, in which case Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience.

Sherko Jihani was detained on 27 November in the town of Mahabad, in the north-western province of Kurdistan. He began a hunger strike in protest on 30 November, and on 4 December he began refusing to speak.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: PLEASE SEND APPEALS TO ARRIVE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, IN PERSIAN, ARABIC, ENGLISH, FRENCH OR YOUR OWN LANGUAGE:

- welcoming the news that Kurdish human rights defender Sherko Jihani was allowed to contact his family on 13 December, but expressing concern that he is detained at an undisclosed location, with no access to his lawyer or his family;

- calling on the authorities to reveal where he is detained and why he was arrested, including any charges against him;

- calling on the authorities to ensure that he is not tortured or ill-treated, and to allow him immediate access to a lawyer of his own choosing, his family and any medical treatment he may require;

- expressing concern that Sherko Jihani may have been detained solely in connection with his peaceful activities on behalf of the rights of the Kurdish minority, in which case Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience;

- calling on the authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally unless he is to be promptly charged with a recognizably criminal offence and given a prompt and fair trial.

APPEALS TO:

Leader of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader

Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: info@leader.ir

istiftaa@wilayah.org

Fax: +98 251 774 2228 (mark "FAO the Office of His Excellency, Ayatollah al Udhma Khamenei")

Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Intelligence

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

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

Email: iranprobe@iranprobe.com

Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

President

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

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

Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir

via website: www.president.ir/email

Speaker of Parliament

His Excellency Gholamali Haddad Adel

Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami, Imam Khomeini Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: + 98 21 6 646 1746

Salutation: Your Excellency

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 25 January 2007.