Iran: Arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of Farhad Mayssami

30/11/2018
Urgent Appeal
en fa

New information
IRN 005 / 1118 / OBS 138
Arbitrary detention /
Ill-treatment
Iran
November 30, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Iran.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) about the continuing arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of Mr. Farhad Mayssami (a.k.a Meysami), a medical doctor who campaigned for women’s rights, including supporting a campaign against the imposition of the hijab on women and girls, and defending women’s rights to choose their own clothing.

According to the information received, since he was forcibly transferred from Tehran’s Evin prison’s Section 4 to the prison’s clinic on September 26, 2018, Mr. Farhad Mayssami has been kept in solitary confinement and administered intravenous fluid against his will. The Observatory recalls that since August 1, Mr. Mayssami has been on a hunger strike to protest against his arbitrary detention and to call for the unconditional release of fellow human rights defenders Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh [1] and Mr. Reza Khandan [2]. His health is rapidly deteriorating and he has lost 34 kg since his arrest.

The Observatory expresses its deepest concern regarding the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Farhad Mayssami and condemns his arbitrary detention, which seems only aimed at punishing him for his legitimate human rights activities.

The Observatory urges the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Farhad Mayssami as well as to put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against him and all human rights defenders arbitrarily detained in the country.

The Observatory further recalls that since August 2018 several human rights defenders have been arbitrarily arrested for defending women’s rights, and at least seven human rights lawyers have been judicially harassed and/or arbitrarily detained for taking up cases related to human rights and for representing other human rights lawyers prosecuted for their work [3].

On November 29, 2018, five United Nations Special Procedures called on Iran to “guarantee the rights of human rights defenders and lawyers who have been jailed for publicly supporting protests against the mandatory wearing of the hijab” and expressed their particular concern over the critical health of Mr. Farhad Mayssami [4].

Background information [5]:

On July 31, 2018, Mr. Farhad Mayssami was arrested at his office in Tehran, following an order of the Prosecutor’s Office Branch 2 and taken to the Ministry of Intelligence-run Ward 209 within Evin prison. A friend of Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, Mr. Farhad Mayssami was arrested for being in possession of copies of two books - “Small Acts of Resistance” by Steve Crawshaw and John Jackson, and a book on human rights translated by Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh, a translator and writer assassinated by Ministry of Intelligence agents in 1998 – and a number of badges reading “I am opposed to forced hijab”.

He faces charges of “gathering and colluding against national security” (Article 610 of the Islamic Penal Code), “spreading propaganda against the system” (Article 500) and “spreading prostitution” (Article 286).

Mr. Mayssami was not given access to a lawyer of his choice as the authorities refused to allow Mr. Arash Kaykhosravi to act as his lawyer, before the latter was arrested in front of the Parliament on August 18, 2018 [6].

On August 1, Mr. Mayssami started a hunger strike to protest against his detention. He was kept in solitary confinement for 20 days before being transferred to a dormitory ward in Section 4 of Evin prison.

On September 26, 2018, he was forcibly transferred by force to Evin prison’s clinic.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Iran asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Farhad Mayssami and all human rights defenders in Iran;

ii. Ensure Mr. Farhad Mayssami an access to adequate medical care;

iii. Immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Farhad Mayssami and put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against him as well as all human rights defenders arbitrarily detained in the country;

iv. Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular its Articles 1, and 12;

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.

Addresses:

• Leader of the Islamic Republic, H.E. Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, Fax: + 98 21 441 2030, Email: info_leader@leader.ir; Twitter: @khamenei_ir
• President Hassan Rouhani, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 644 54811; Email: media@rouhani.ir; Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian).
• Head of the Judiciary, H.E. Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98 21 879 6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567, Email: info@dadiran.ir / info@dadgostary-tehran.ir / info@bia-judiciary.ir
• Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98-21-66743149; matbuat@mfa.gov.ir
• Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights, Mr. Mohammed Javad Larijani, Islamic Republic of Iran. Email: info@humanrights-iran.ir
• H.E. Mr. Javad Amin-Mansour, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email: mission.iran@ties.itu.int
• H.E. Mr. Peiman Seadat, Ambassador, Embassy of Iran in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email: secreteriat@iranembassy.be

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Iran in your respective countries.

***
Paris-Geneva, November 30, 2018

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

 
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

[1] See Observatory Press Release, September 21, 2018; and Urgent Appeal IRN 001 / 0618 / OBS 085, June 15, 2018.
[2] See Observatory Open Letter to President Hassan Rouhani, September 28, 2018.
[3] See Observatory Press Release, September 5, 2018 and Urgent Appeal IRN 004 / 0918 / OBS 115, September 14, 2018.
[4] See Joint Statement by UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders; Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers; Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Chair of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice; and Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23947&LangID=E
[5] See Observatory Open Letter to President Hassan Rouhani, September 28, 2018.
[6] See Observatory Urgent Appeal IRN 003 / 0818 / OBS 106, August 23, 2018.

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