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Amnesty International

Iran: Family of stoning case lawyer detained: Further Information

Amnesty International
July 26, 2010
Appeal/Urgent Action

Further information UA: 175/09

Index: MDE 13/080/2010

The wife and brother-in-law of human rights lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, have been arrested, apparently to pressure Mohammad Mostafaei to turn himself in for arrest. Both are thought to be held in Evin Prison.

Fereshteh Halimi, Mohammad Mostafaei’s wife, reportedly called her parents to say that she is being held at Evin Prison in Tehran. Her brother, Farhad Halimi, is also believed to be detained there. Amnesty International is concerned that they may be prisoners of conscience, held because they are related to Mohammad Mostafaei, who is a leading human rights lawyer who defended Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death by stoning, as well as a number of juvenile offenders.

On 21 July 2010, Mohammad Mostafaei was issued with a summons requiring him to go to a branch of the Prosecutor’s Office in Evin Prison. He went there on 24 July, was questioned for at least one hour and then was released. Later, however, he received a further summons by telephone. The same evening, his wife and her brother were arrestedand have been detained since then. According to unconfirmed information received on 26 July, they may be held on suspicion of hiding somebody wanted by the authorities.

Mohammad Mostafaei's current whereabouts are not known. On the evening of 24 July he wrote on his Facebook account: “'it is possible they will arrest me".

Mohammad Mostafaei and Fereshteh Halimi have a daughter aged around 7, who is currently believed to be in the care of Fereshteh Halimi’s mother.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, Persian or your own language:

  • Expressing concern about the arrest and detention of Fereshteh Halimi and Farhad Halimi and that they may be prisoners of conscience held solely on account of their relationship with human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei;

  • Urging the authorities to release Fereshteh Halimi and Farhad Halimi immediately and unconditionally if they are prisoners of conscience and to protect them from torture or other ill-treatment or abuse of their rights;

  • Reminding the authorities that the harassment and arrest of family members solely in order to bring pressure on someone else is a human rights violation and that anyone making such an order is violating the human rights of those targeted.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 6 SEPTEMBER 2010 TO:

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani

Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)

Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri

Tehran 1316814737

Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: Via website: http://www.dadiran.ir/tabid/75/Default.aspx First starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Provincial Judiciary in Tehran

Ali Reza Avaei

Karimkhan Zand Avenue

Sana’i Avenue, Corner of Alley 17, No. 152

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: avaei@Dadgostary-tehran.ir

Salutation: Dear Mr Avaei

And copies to:

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights

Mohammad Javad Larijani

Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh

Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri

Tehran 1316814737

Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: +98 21 3390 4986

Email: bia.judi@yahoo.com (In subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the 2nd update of UA 175/09:http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/064/2009,http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/065/2009

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Mohammad Mostafaei is a human rights lawyer who has taken up cases of juvenile offenders, those convicted of a capital offence committed while under the age of 18; men and women facing stoning and other cases, including of political prisoners. He was briefly detained following the June 2009 presidential election in Iran. In particular, he is defence counsel for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, whose sentence of death by stoning for alleged adultery recently provoked wide an international public outcry and is a focus of continuing protests and demands for clemency around the world.

Following his interrogation on 24 July, he wrote on his blog that he was questioned mainly about his defence of juvenile offenders.

In the course of February – April 2010, scores of human rights defenders were harassed or arrested in Iran, including up to seven members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters and other human rights groups and activists.

Since the disputed presidential election in June 2009, thousands have been arrested, mostly arbitrarily and many have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated. Scores have faced unfair trial, including some in mass “show trials”, with over 80 sentenced to prison terms, and at least 12 sentenced to death, although at least one has had his sentence commuted to a prison term. Waves of arrests, notably of political activists, students, journalists and human rights activists has been taking place since a Shi’a religious festival called ‘Ashoura, on 27 December 2009 and Iran’s national day on 11 February 2010.