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Amnesty International

Three Reprieved Two Still at Risk of Execution

Amnesty International
November 28, 2013
Appeal/Urgent Action

Teacher Abdolreza Ghanbari's death sentence had been commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment in August 2013, to be served in internal exile at Borazjan Prison, in the south-west of the country. The Supreme Court reduced his sentence further the next month, to 10 years’ imprisonment to be served in Evin Prison in Tehran. Abdolreza Ghanbari had been sentenced to death for “enmity against God” (moharebeh) in relation to his alleged links to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).

The Supreme Court overturned the death sentence of merchant Javad Lari in February 2012 and sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment. He was released on 8 February 2012 after time served.Farah (also known as Elmira) Vazehan, whose death sentence was overturned on 19 January 2011, was released on 18 September 2013. Both had been sentenced to death for “enmity against God” (moharebeh) for their alleged links to the PMOI.

Tehran’s prosecutor had announced in May 2010 that the death sentences of Mohsen Daneshpour Moghadam and his son Ahmad Daneshpour Moghadam had been upheld by the Appeal Court after they were found guilty of "enmity against God" (moharebeh) in relation to their alleged links to the (PMOI). Both men have lodged an application for a pardon, but it is not known whether a decision has been made in either case. During their trial in February 2010 both men were represented by court-appointment lawyers and their family were barred from hiring their own lawyer, raising concerns of an unfair trial. Ahmad Daneshpour Moghadam has lost about 20kg, apparently as a result of gastro-intestinal problems. He may not be receiving adequate medical attention.

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

Calling on the authorities not to execute Mohsen and Ahmad Daneshpour Moghaddam, and to provide Ahmad Daneshpour Moghaddam with any medical attention he may require;

Urging them to ensure that all people sentenced after unfair trials have their convictions and sentences reviewed as a matter of urgency, and commute all death sentences;

Reminding them that under international law, the death penalty can only be imposed for “the most serious crimes”, which international bodies have interpreted as being limited to crimes involving intentional killings.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 9 JANUARY 2014 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

Twitter: @khamenei_ir

Email: info_leader@leader.ir

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

c/o Public Relations Office

Number 4, 2 Azizi Street intersection

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: info@dadiran.ir

(Subject line: FAO

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani)

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Hassan Rouhani

The Presidency

Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: media@rouhani.ir

Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and

@Rouhani_ir (Persian)

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the sixth update of UA 102/10. Further information: http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/010/2011/en

URGENT ACTION

THREE reprieved TWO still AT RISK of execution

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Teacher Abdolreza Ghanbari, and father and son Mohsen and Ahmad Daneshpour Moghaddam, had all been arrested after demonstrations which took place in Iran in late December 2009 marking the Ashoura religious commemorations. All three were sentenced in January and February 2010.

The demonstrations in December 2009, known as Ashoura demonstations as they took place during the religious festival of Ashoura, one of the holiest days for Shia Muslims, saw the bloodiest repression since the early weeks after the disputed presidential election six months earlier in June 2009. The authorities acknowledged at least seven deaths, including that of the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, himself under unofficial house arrest since February 2011 (see Iran: Anniversary demonstrations on 14 February must be allowed to take place peacefully, http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/005/2012/en), and more than 1,000 arrests, but in both cases the true totals may be higher. Most of those arrested were released but some were convicted in unfair trials and sentenced to lengthy prison terms or even death.

Farah Vazehan had been arrested two days after the demonstrations. She was sentenced to death for “enmity against God” in August 2010, for participation in the protests, including taking photographs and sending them abroad and support for the PMOI.

Iran is second only to China in the number of executions every year worldwide. Death sentences are typically imposed following proceedings that violate fair trial standards, and there is credible evidence that large numbers of executions are carried out in secret.

After the election in June 2013 of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s new President, some steps to improve the country’s image were undertaken, such as the release of 11 political prisoners ahead of his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September. These steps so far have not included any visible change in Iran’s reliance on the death penalty, and may in fact have overshadowed a rise in executions. Officially, so far 331 executions have been acknowledged by the Iranian authorities for 2013, but reliable sources have reported at least 262 additional executions during the year. At least 367 of these executions have taken place since President Rouhani was elected. For all of 2012, 314 executions had been officially acknowledged, but with reliable reports of at least 230 additional executions, the total for that year is believed to have been at least 544.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution, because the death penalty violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

Names: Mohsen Daneshpour Moghadam (m); Ahmad Daneshpour Moghadam (m); Abdolreza Ghanbari (m); Javad Lari; Farah (also known as Elmira) Vazehan (f)

Gender m/f: both

Further information on UA: 102/10 Index: MDE 13/049/2013 Issue Date: 28 November 2013