The Observatory has been informed by the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) of the imprisonment of Mr. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a human rights lawyer and founding member of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC).
According to the information received, on September 29, 2012, Mr. Dadkhah was taken into custody to Evin Prison to serve the nine-year imprisonment sentence that was pronounced against him in May 2011 and upheld on appeal in late April 2012 (see background information).
The Observatory recalls that, in the context of a general crackdown against the Iranian civil society, various acts of judicial harassment and arbitrary detentions have targeted several DHRC members over the past years, especially after the disputed 2009 presidential election. Mr. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah is the fourth DHRC member to be imprisoned after Ms. Nasrin Soutoudeh and Messrs. Mohammad Seifzadeh and Abdolfattah Soltani were arrested in September 2010, April 2011 and September 2011 and have to serve prison terms of two years, six years and 13 years, respectively, while Ms. Nargess Mohammadi was released on bail on July 31, 2012. In addition, several other human rights defenders have been taken into custody over the past months to serve prison sentences that had previously been pronounced against them.
The Observatory is deeply concerned about the detention of Mr. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, as it is arbitrary and clearly aims at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities. The Observatory therefore calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him as well as all human rights defenders presently detained in Iran, and more generally to put an end to all forms of harassment against them.
On July 8, 2009, Mr. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah was arrested together with three of his colleagues and his daughter by three plain-clothes persons, without any warrant, in his law firm that was subsequently closed and sealed. Mr. Dadkhah, who was accused of “keeping weapons, opium as well as documents” evidencing alleged links with foreign “enemies”, was released on a bail of around 700,000 US dollars on September 13, 2009.
On May 21, 2011, Mr. Dadkhah was sentenced on charges of “assembly and collusion to overthrow the Islamic system” and “actions and propaganda against the Islamic system”. He was sentenced to a total of 9 years imprisonment, including 8 years for “membership of DHRC” as an allegedly illegal organisation and one year for “propaganda against the system” in relation with his representation in a case against Isfahan’s Metro for “endangering national heritage monuments”. In addition, Mr. Dadkhah was sentenced to a 10-year ban on practicing law and teaching, 5 lashes and a cash fine of 3 million rials (approximately 100 Euros).
On April 28, 2012, Mr. Dadkhah was informed that his nine-year imprisonment sentence and his 10-year ban on practising law and teaching had been upheld on appeal.
Please write to the Iranian authorities and ask them to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, as well as of all human rights defenders in Iran;
ii. Drop all charges against Mr. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah and release him immediately and unconditionally as his detention is arbitrary since it only aims at sanctioning his human rights activities;
iii. Put an end to any kind of harassment - including at the judicial level - against all human rights defenders in Iran and release them all;
iv. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular its article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, and its article 12.2 which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;
v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Iran.
·Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shahid Keshvardoost St., Jomhuri Eslami Ave., Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98 21 649 5880 / 21 774 2228, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
·President Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 649 5880. Email: email@example.com
·Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, Office of the Head of the Judiciary, Pasteur Street, Vali Asr Avenue, south of Serah-e Jomhuri, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98 21 879 6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
·Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Akbar Salehi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Kushk-e Mesri Av, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98-21-66743149; email@example.com
·Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights, Mr. Mohammed Javad Larijani, [Care of] Office of the Head of the Judicary, Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave, South of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
·H.E. Mr. Seyed Mohammad Reza Sajjadi, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email: email@example.com
·Embassy of Iran in Brussels, 15 a avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com
Please also write to diplomatic representations of Iran in your respective countries.
Paris-Geneva, October 2, 2012
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29