Arbitrary detention of Messrs. Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi and Maziar Samïi - IRN 002 / 0210 / OBS 015

Urgent Appeal
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The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of the arbitrary arrest of Mr. Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi, a journalist member of the Central Council of the Human Rights Organisation of Kurdistan, of the “One Million Signatures Campaign” and of the student alumni group ADVAR, and Mr. Maziar Samïi, a student and also a member of the “One Million Signatures Campaign”.

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

According to the information received, on February 3, 2010, Mr. Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi was arrested in Kermanshah, in Western Iran, by seven security agents, who searched his home, confiscated his personal belongings, including his computer and written documents. He was arrested on the basis of a warrant that did not show the name of the authorities who had issued it. No information was given to his family about where he was taken.

Mr. Maziar Samïi was also arrested at his home in Tehran on the same day, after his personal effects were confiscated. His whereabouts remain unknown to date.

It is feared that their arrest might be an attempt to avert the expected protests on February 11.

Other members of the Human Rights Organisation of Kurdistan are also being subjected to high pressure to close the organisation. In January, Mr. Ejlal Ghawami, Spokesperson for the organisation, was summoned three times by security agents, who demanded the closing of the group. In addition, the Observatory recalls that Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, founder of the organisation, has been in custody since June 2007 and is currently serving an 11-year prison term[1].

The Observatory expresses its deep concern about Messrs. Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi’ and Maziar Samïi’s arbitrary detention, which seem to merely aim at sanctioning his human rights activities, and calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him, as well as all human rights defenders presently detained in the country.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Iranian authorities and ask them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi, Maziar Samïi and Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand as well as all human rights defenders in Iran;

ii. Release them immediately and unconditionally, as well as all human rights defenders presently detained in the country, since their detention is arbitrary as it only aims at sanctioning their human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to acts of harassment - including at the judicial level - against them as well as against 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”, its article 5(c), which reads that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels, [...] to communicate with non-governmental or intergovernmental organizations”, 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, Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98 21 649 5880 / 21 774 2228, Email: / /

· President Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 649 5880. Email:

· Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98 21 879 6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567, Email:

· Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Manouchehr Mottaki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Av, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 390 1999, Email:

· Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email:

· Embassy of Iran in Brussels, 15 a avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email:

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


Geneva-Paris, February 5, 2010


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