Iran: Sentencing of Mr. Reza Khandan

Urgent Appeal
en fa

New information
IRN 001 / 0119 / OBS 002.1
Sentencing /
Judicial harassment
January 28, 2019

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 sentencing of Mr. Reza Khandan, a human rights defender known for having raised concerns on Facebook about human rights violations in Iran, including the imprisonment of human rights defenders and the prosecution of women who have campaigned against the imposition of the hijab. Mr. Khandan also campaigned for the release of his wife, Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, one of Iran’s most prominent human rights lawyers, who was arrested on June 13, 2018 [1].

According to the information received, on January 22, 2019, Mr. Khandan’s lawyer was notified that Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolution Court in Tehran sentenced his client to six years of imprisonment - five years for “gathering and collusion with intent to commit crimes against national security” (Article 610 of the Islamic Penal Code) and one year for “spreading propaganda against the system” (Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code). He was also banned from “membership in social and political groups and parties, undertaking activities in cyberspace, the media and the press” and from travelling abroad for two years. Mr. Khandan will appeal the court’s decision and will remain free pending the appeal.

The Observatory recalls that Mr. Khandan was arrested on September 4, 2018, and released on bail on December 23, 2018 (see background information). The Observatory also recalls that several other human rights defenders remain in arbitrary detention.

The Observatory condemns the sentencing of Mr. Reza Khandan, which seems to be only aimed at punishing him for his legitimate human rights activities. The Observatory calls on Iranian authorities to end all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Reza Khandan and all human rights defenders in the country.

Background information:

On September 4, 2018, Mr. Reza Khandan was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence at his home in Tehran and subsequently taken to Branch 7 of the Prosecutor’s Office in the capital’s Evin prison. He was detained on charges of “gathering and colluding against national security”, “spreading propaganda against the system”, and “propagating and promoting disregard for hijab in the society”. The Prosecutor’s Office ordered him to deposit bail to the amount of 7,000 million Iranian rials (approximately 55,000 Euros). Mr. Reza Khandan refused to pay the bail, arguing that he had not committed any offences, and remained detained in Evin prison.

On December 23, 2018, Mr. Reza Khandan was provisionally released on a ‘personal guarantee’ [2]. This followed a court hearing that was attended by Mr. Reza Khandan on December 19, 2018, at Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolution Court in Tehran. During the hearing, the Court agreed to change Mr. Khandan’s financial bail to a personal guarantee.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Iran asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Mr. Reza Khandan and all human rights defenders in Iran;

ii. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Reza Khandan, and all human rights defenders in the country;

iii. 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, 6, 9, 11 and 12;

iv. 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, H.E. Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, Fax: + 98 21 441 2030, Email:; Twitter: @khamenei_ir
• President Hassan Rouhani, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 644 54811; Email:; 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: / /
• Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98-21-66743149;
• Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights, Mr. Mohammed Javad Larijani, Islamic Republic of Iran. Email:
• 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:
• H.E. Mr. Peiman Seadat, Ambassador, Embassy of Iran in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email:

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

Paris-Geneva, January 28, 2019

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, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
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 Urgent Appeal IRN 001 / 0618 / OBS 085, published on June 15, 2018.
[2] This is a type of bail under which a person guarantees to bring the defendant to the court, when asked.

Read more