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Amnesty International

Iran: Further information: Man executed; seven still at risk of execution

Amnesty International
January 5, 2011
Appeal/Urgent Action

URGENT ACTION

Man executed; SEVEN still AT Risk OF execution

Ali Saremi (or Sarami) was executed without warning on 28 December 2010 in Evin Prison, Tehran. He had been sentenced to death in December 2009 for “enmity against God” for his alleged membership of a banned opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). Seven other people with alleged links to the same organization are also under sentence of death. All their trials are believed to have been unfair.

Ali Saremi’s cellmates contacted his family on 27 December, expressing concern that his execution was imminent. His family went to the prison and waited outside until dawn, when they realised he had been executed. His lawyer had not been informed of the execution, as required by Iranian law. Several members of Ali Saremi’s family, including his wife, were arrested, but most were released shortly afterwards although his nephew, Mohammad Saremi, is believed to still be held.

Six other men and one woman have been sentenced to death in Iran for alleged links to the PMOI since the disputed 2009 presidential election. Ja’far Kazemi, Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei , Abdolreza Ghanbari (or Qanbari), father and son Ahmad and Mohsen Daneshpour Moghaddam, and Javad Lari, along with Farah (also known as Elmira) Vazehan, were also found guilty of "enmity against God". In some cases, their alleged links with the PMOI may amount to no more than having contact with family members who are members of the PMOI.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, English, or your own language (Please refer to Ja’far Kazemi as "Ja’far Kazemi, son of Bahman" in your appeals, as this will help the authorities to identify him):

Expressing deep regret at the execution of Ali Saremi, and urging the Iranian authorities not to execute Ja’far Kazemi, Javad Lari, Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei, Abdolreza Ghanbari, Ahmad Daneshpour Moghaddam, Mohsen Daneshpour Moghaddam and Farah Vazehan;

Reminding the Iranian authorities that in international law, the death penalty can only be carried out for “the most serious crimes”, which must be “intentional crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences."

Urging that any person held solely on account of their family links to the PMOI and who has not committed a recognizably criminal offence should be released immediately and unconditionally. Any others sentenced after unfair trials should have their convictions and sentences reviewed as a matter of urgency.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 FEBRUARY 2011 TO:

Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street,

Tehran,

Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: Via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter (English); http://www.leader.ir/langs/fa/index.php?p=letter (Persian)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

Office of the Head of the Judiciary

Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran, 1316814737,Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: info@dadiran.ir or bia.judi@yahoo.com

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights

Mohammad Javad Larijani

High Council for Human Rights

[Care of] Office of the Head of the Judiciary

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

Tehran 1316814737

Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: info@humanrights-iran.ir (In subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the third update of UA 102/10. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/081/2010/en

URGENT ACTION

man executed; SEVEN still AT Risk OF execution

ADditional Information

Ali Saremi, aged about 63, has a son in the PMOI who lives in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, whom he visited. He was arrested on his return and sentenced to a year in prison, and was released in May 2007. Ali Saremi had previously spent 20 years in prison for his political activities both before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran (see Iran: Halt executions of Kurdish and other political prisoners, MDE 13/007/2010, 12 January 2010 http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/007/2010/en). He was arrested in September 2007 after speaking at an event commemorating the summary executions of thousands of people in Iranian prisons in 1988 (see UA 286/07: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/128/2007/en). In May 2010 he told Amnesty International from prison:

“I was tried in October 2008 before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, on the charge of “enmity against God” for membership of PMOI. I again denied this and defended myself as they had no evidence against me to prove the charge. I was sentenced to death in December 2009 and appealed through my lawyer. I only learnt about the confirmation of my sentence via the Tehran Prosecutor’s press conference [on 15 May]. Even though I have a lawyer, they do not recognise him. They do not communicate legal proceedings to him and do not notify him.”

His lawyer has said publicly that he was never served with the execution verdict and had never received any information concerning his client’s case after the initial trial, including about appeals. He was not informed of the execution 48 hours in advance, as is required by Iranian law.

Ja’far Kazemi, aged about 46 and previously imprisoned for membership of the PMOI in the 1980s or 1990s, was arrested on 18 September 2009 and interrogated and possibly tortured for months in Evin prison in Tehran, possibly to pressure him to make a televised “confession”, which he refused to do. He was accused of participating in protests which followed the disputed outcome of Iran’s presidential election in June 2009, but was not accused of committing any violent acts; and for his alleged contact with banned opposition group. He was sentenced to death for "enmity against God", and is also believed to have been convicted of “propaganda against the system”. On 26 April 2010, he learned that his death sentence had been confirmed by an appeal court. A further appeal was apparently rejected in late July. One of his sons is a PMOI member and lives in Camp Ashraf,

Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei, in his 60s, who was arrested and tried alongside Ja’far Kazemi, and who had also visited relatives in Camp Ashraf, was sentenced to death in or around April 2010. His death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in September 2010.

Teacher Abdolreza Ghanbari, aged 42, and father and son Ahmad and Mohsen Daneshpour Moghaddam, were all arrested after the demonstrations which took place in late December 2009 marking the Ashoura religious commemorations. All three were sentenced after “show trials” in January and February 2010.

Tehran’s prosecutor announced on 15 May that the death sentences of Ja’far Kazemi, Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei, Mohammad Ali Saremi (or Sarami), Abdolreza Ghanbari and father and son, Ahmad and Mohsen Daneshpour Moghaddam, were upheld by the Appeal Court after they were found guilty of "enmity against God" in relation to their alleged links to the PMOI.

In August 2010, Amnesty International received reports that another man, Javad Lari, a Tehran bazaar merchant in his 50s, had been sentenced to "death without pardon" for "enmity against God and corruption on earth". He is also held in Evin prison, where he was reportedly tortured and forced to ‘confess’.

Farah (also known as Elmira) Vazehan, who was arrested two days after the December 2009 Ashoura protests, was sentenced to death for “enmity against God” in August 2010, after conviction of participation in the protests, including taking photographs and sending them abroad and support for the PMOI.

Further information on UA: 102/10 Index: MDE 13/002/2011 Issue Date: 05 January 2011