Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International

Iran: Fears of Torture for Iranian Writer: Arzhang Davoodi

Amnesty International
August 23, 2001
Appeal/Urgent Action

Iranian writer Arzhang Davoodi, imprisoned since October 2003, was transferred to Section 209 of Tehran’s Evin Prison on 27 June where it is feared he has been tortured or ill-treated. He has a court hearing on 28 August on the new charge of “enmity against God” (moharebeh) as a result of his peaceful political activism.

Since his detention began, Arzhang Davoodi has been serving his prison sentence in different prisons in Iran, including at Bandar Abbas Prison, Hormozgan Prison, 1500 km south of his home in Tehran; Reja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj; and Evin Prison, including Section 209, believed to be under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence. Prisoners frequently report being tortured or otherwise ill-treated in this section of Evin Prison, and he has spent lengthy periods of time in solitary confinement since his arrest. Since being transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison, Arzhang Davoodi has not had contact with his family.

On 28 August Arzhang Davoodi is to appear before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on the charge of “enmity against God” (moharebeh). The charge of “enmity against God” carries a possible death sentence.

Arzhang Davoodi, aged 60, was arrested in October 2003 for participating in the documentaryForbidden Iran in which he spoke out about human rights violations in Iran. Following a trial in 2005 he was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment and 75 lashes by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court on charges of “spreading propaganda against the system”, “establishing and directing an organization opposed to the government” for being the director of the Parto-e Hekmat Cultural Education Centre in Tehran; as well as for participating in the making of the documentary; and because of his writings on a secular system of governance in Iran. His flogging sentence has not been implemented.

Please write immediately in Persian, English, Arabic or your own language:

Calling on the Iranian authorities to release Arzhang Davoodi immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and association in his writings and political activism;

Urging them to protect Arzhang Davoodi from torture or other ill-treatment and to provide him with all necessary medical care;

Calling for Arzhang Davoodi to be allowed immediate access to his family and lawyer.


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: [email protected]

Twitter: "#Iran Leader

@khamenei_ir must free Arzhang Davoodi”

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

[care of] Public Relations Office

Number 4, 2 Azizi Street intersection

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: [email protected]

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Secretary General High Council for

Human Rights

Mohammed Javad Larijani

c/o Office of the Head of the Judicary

Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave

South of Serah-e Jomhouri

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: [email protected]

(Subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad


Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

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Amnesty International also understands that Arzhang Davoodi’s wife, Nazanin Davoodi, has faced intimidation and harassment from the Iranian authorities for advocating on behalf of her husband since his imprisonment, including by giving interviews to journalists abroad about her husband’s case. In 2011 Iranian state television aired a “confession” by Nazanin Davoodi in relation to her advocacy on behalf of her husband. Since then, faced with continued harassment by the authorities, Nazanin Davoodi has had limited contact with her husband.

The TV documentary Forbidden Iran was filmed secretly. It was widely broadcast in northern Europe in December 2003 and in North America in January 2004. Arzhang Davoodi had assisted in the making of the documentary and was one of those interviewed on film. During his interview he spoke about political prisoners and the death in custody of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi (see http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/070/2005/en).

Arzhang Davoodi’s lawyer had been Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a co-founder of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), who himself was sentenced in July 2011 to nine years’ imprisonment on charges relating to his alleged involvement in seeking the “soft overthrow” of the government and “spreading propaganda against the system”. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah was also banned from teaching and from his profession as a lawyer for 10 years. On 28 April 2012, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah was informed that an appeals court had confirmed the sentence. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah is currently at liberty, though he may be called to serve his sentence at any time. Amnesty International understands that he has been forced to transfer his existing cases to other colleagues, including the case of Arzhang Davoodi (see http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/039/2012/en).

Arzhang Davoodi was previously the subject of UA 183/08 (MDE 13/087/2008, http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/087/2008/en) and UA 87/04 (MDE 13/016/2004, http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/016/2004/en and follow ups).

Name: Arzhang Davoodi

Gender m/f: m

UA: 249/12 Index: MDE 13/059/2012 Issue Date: 23 August 2012