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Amnesty International

Iran: Further Information on Arbitrary arrest/fear of torture or other ill-treatment/prisoner of conscience: Mahboubeh Karami (f)

Amnesty International
August 29, 2008
Appeal/Urgent Action

Further Information on 169/08 (MDE 13/084/2008, 17 June 2008) and follow-up (MDE 13/119/2008, 19 August 2008) Arbitrary arrest/fear of torture or other ill-treatment/prisoner of conscience

IRAN Mahboubeh Karami (f), aged 40, journalist and women’s rights defender

On 25 August, Mahboubeh Karami was released on bail of one billion rials (approximately US$110,000). She was charged in mid-August with "acting against national security" and her next hearing is scheduled for 1 November at the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Since her arrest on 13 June she had been held in Evin Prison, Tehran. Amnesty International considers the charge against her to be false and if imprisoned Mahboubeh Karami would be a prisoner of conscience, detained for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression and association.

Whilst Mahboubeh Karami was in detention she was regularly interrogated about her activities with The Campaign for Equality that advocates for an end to laws and policies which discriminate against women.

Shortly after her release on 28 August, Mahboubeh Karami was at a private gathering at a friends’ house when security forces arrived, entered the house by force and demanded that she sign a summons for her to appear on 30 August at the Tehran Polices' Security and Intelligence branch. The security forces left the house once she had signed the order but then remained outside until 10pm.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Campaign for Equality is a network of individuals working to end legal discrimination against women. The campaign informs women of their rights, and is aiming to collect one million signatures from the Iranian public to a petition against discriminatory laws. On 27 August, the second anniversary of the Campaign for Equality, Amnesty International renewed its demand that the Iranian authorities cease harassing and imprisoning women’s rights defenders and allow them to freely continue their campaigning for the repeal of laws and policies which discriminate against women in Iran.

For further information please see Iran: End pressure on women’s rights defenders, published on 27 August 2008; http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/iran-end-pressure-women-s-rights-defenders-20080827

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:

- calling on the authorities to drop the charge against Mahboubeh Karami, if imprisoned she would be a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of her right to freedom of expression and association and Amnesty International will call for her immediate and unconditional release.

- calling on the authorities to end the harassment of Mahboubeh Karami for her peaceful activities.

APPEALS TO:

Head of the Tehran Judiciary

Ali Reza Avaie

No. 152, corner of 17th Alley

Before Shahid Motahhary Ave.,

Sanaei Ave., Karimkhan Zand Ave.,

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: +98 21 8832 6700 (works intermittently)

Email: avaei@dadgostary-tehran.ir

info@dadgostary-tehran.ir

Salutation: Dear Mr Avaei

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

Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh

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

Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)

Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran

His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani

Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)

Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri, Tehran 1316814737, Iran

Fax: +98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying)

Email: fsharafi@bia-judiciary.ir (In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

int_aff@judiciary.ir (In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

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 10 October 2008.