IRN 007 / 0807 / OBS 092 - Death sentence / Arbitrary detention / Hunger strike / Ill-treatment

Urgent Appeal
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The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources that Mr. Adnan Hassanpour and Mr. Abdoulvahid (also known as Hiwa) Boutimar, two Kurdish journalists and active members of Iranian civil society, have been on a hunger strike for 30 days, to protest against their arbitrary detention, their ill-treatment in prison as well as their sentencing to death.

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 Islamic Republic of Iran:

Brief description of the situation:

According to the information received, on July 16, 2007, the Revolutionary Tribunal in Marivan sentenced to death Mr. Adnan Hassanpour and Mr. Abdoulvahid (Hiwa) Boutimar for, inter alia, “espionage”, “attacks upon national security”, “diffusion of separatist propaganda”, “treason” and “collaboration with Kurdish political opposition parties”. Mr. Hassanpour is a member of the Iranian Kurdistan Journalist Association as well as a reporter for the Aso newspaper, a publication banned by Iranian authorities. He is also an active defender of Kurdish cultural rights. Mr. Boutimar is an active member of the environmental NGO Sabzchia. The accused were denied access to legal counsel throughout the entire legal process. After their respective arrest in December 2006 and January 2007, they were held incommunicado in Mariwan prison until July 2007.

Currently, the two men are being held in Sanandaj Intelligence Service’s jail and they were - for the first time since their arrest - accorded a visit from family members on August 9, 2007. They were both in poor health and have experienced an extremely worrying deterioration of their mental state. They have been reportedly subjected to torture and other inhuman treatment and have been on hunger strike since their transfer to Sanandaj, in July 2007. In spite of their serious health problems, they informed their families that Iranian authorities have denied them access to appropriate medical treatment. Despite their requests to the prison authorities to have their letters transmitted to the judicial authorities, the Jail Commissioner has refused to do so and has not replied to any of the two detainees’ request.

The Observatory is extremely concerned by the fact that the judicial authorities have so far refused to notify Mr. Hassanpour and Mr. Boutimar of the decision of the Court, sentencing them to death, which is a necessary precondition for them to lodge an appeal. In clear violation of domestic legislation and international human rights provisions, the two men were informed of their being sentenced to death through the Iranian press.

The Observatory further expresses its deepest concern regarding Mr. Hassanpour and Mr. Boutimar’s sentencing to death, as it appears to be directly aimed at sanctioning their activities in favour of human rights. The Observatory especially condemns the imposition of the death penalty, sanctioning the exercise of the human right to freedom of opinion and expression. More generally, the Observatory expresses its deep concern at the generalised environment of repression against human rights defenders.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Iran urging them to:

i.Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Adnan Hassanpour and Mr. Abdoulvahid (Hiwa) Boutimar;

ii.Ensure both men are granted a fair trial when appealing their sentences, and have access to legal representation, in accordance with the Constitution and the domestic legislation of the Islamic Republic of Iran;

iii.Conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the allegations of ill-treatment, so that the all those responsible be identified, brought to justice and sentenced according to sanctions provided by law;

iv.Ensure that they have access to adequate medical treatment;

v.Put an end to all acts of harassment against all Iranian human rights defenders;

vi.Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, Article 6 (b) which stipulates that “everyone has the right [...] freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms”, as well as 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”;

vii.Ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by the Islamic Republic of 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, His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.649.5880, E-mail:;
Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, 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 Mr. Manuchehr Motaki, 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:;
Ambassador Mr. Ahani, Embassy of Iran in Brussels, avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 15 A. 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email:

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Iran in your respective country.

Geneva-Paris, August 16, 2007

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

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line: E-mail: Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / +33 1 43 55 18 80 Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

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