Iran: Arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Saeed Madani

Urgent Appeal
en fa

IRN 001 / 0214 / OBS 015
Arbitrary detention /
Judicial harassment
February 21, 2014

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Iran.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) about the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Saeed Madani, an Iranian sociologist and human rights activist.

According to the information received, on February 19, 2014, Branch 54 of the Appeals Court upheld a first-instance decision issued in June 2013 by Branch 26 of Islamic Revolution Court to sentence Mr. Saeed Madani to six-year imprisonment (two years in Evin prison in Tehran, and four years in exile in Bandar Abbas prison, although exile in prison does not exist in Iranian law) as well as to 10-year life exile in Bandar Abbas, a city 1,500 km away from Tehran, which is Mr. Madani’s home town. Mr. Madani is currently detained in Ward 350 of Evin prison in Tehran.

Mr. Madani was sentenced for collaborating with organisations such as the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC) - whose offices were shut down in 2008 -, and for having published books and articles drawing a dark picture of social conditions in Iran.

Mr. Madani was arrested on January 7, 2012, probably on the pretext of his previous conviction in 2003 in order to serve the remainder of his sentence (see below), and spent one year in Detention Centre 209 of the Ministry of Intelligence, in Tehran. He suffered prolonged solitary confinement and was denied contact with his family or lawyer. He was transferred to Ward 350 of Evin prison for one day in early July 2012 and for five days in November 2012, before being returned to Detention Centre 209. On December 16, 2012, he was transferred for the third time to Ward 350 where he completed his sentence in January 2014. However, he has been kept in Ward 350 since then, reportedly on the basis of the new above-mentioned sentence.

Mr. Saeed Madani has been detained several times since 1994 for his work as a sociologist and for his collaboration with Iranian human rights organisations. In early 2003, he was sentenced to a six-year imprisonment and a 10-year ban on social activities. The prison sentence was then reduced to three and a half years and the 10-year ban was upheld on appeal by Branch 29 of the Appeals Court. He had already served one year of his sentence in pre-trial detention in 2000 and served the rest from January 2012 to January 2014, when his sentence was completed.

The Observatory expresses its concern about the decision of the Appeal Court to uphold the six-year prison and 10-year exile sentence against Mr. Saeed Madani, as it merely aims at sanctioning his human rights activities. The Observatory denounces this decision as means to infringe freedom of expression in Iran, in violation of international law.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Iranian authorities and ask them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Saeed Madani, as well as of all human rights defenders in Iran;

ii. Release Mr. Madani immediately and unconditionally as his detention is arbitrary since it only aims at sanctioning their human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to any kind of harassment - including at the judicial level - against Mr. Saeed Madani and all human rights defenders in Iran;

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:
· President Hassan Rouhani, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 649 5880.
· 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:; / /
· Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Kushk-e Mesri Av, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98-21-66743149;
· 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:
· H.E. Mr. Mohsen Naziri Asl, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in Geneva, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email:
· Embassy of Iran in Brussels, 15 avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email:

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

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