On June 23, 2010, Mr. Emad Baghi, founder of the Society for the Defence of Prisoners’ Rights and laureate of the 2009 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, was released on health grounds, and following the payment of a bail of about 200,000 dollars.
He nonetheless remains accused of “propaganda against the Islamic establishment”.
Mr. Emad Baghi had been arrested on December 28, 2009, amid a wave of arrests that hit dozens of human rights defenders. He reportedly spent five months out of his six-month detention in solitary confinement, and has been suffering from heart and breathe problems, as well as of severe back pain.
The Observatory welcomes Mr. Emad Baghi’s release, but condemns the excessive amount of his bail and urges the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally drop the charges pending against him, as they seem to merely sanction his human rights activities.
The Observatory further recalls that Ms. Nargess Mohammadi, Vice-President of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), remains arbitrarily detained since June 10, 2010, and denounces more generally the ongoing arbitrary detention of dozens of human rights defenders in Iran, amid the current general crackdown on the Iranian civil society.
The Observatory calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders presently detained in the country, to guarantee in all circumstances their physical and psychological integrity, and to conform in all circumstances with the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights instruments ratified by Iran.