Quashing of the death sentence of Mr. Adnan Hassanpour - IRN 007 / 0807 / OBS 092.2

05/09/2008
Urgent Appeal

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of the quashing of the death sentence of Mr. Adnan Hassanpour, 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.

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), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

New information:

According to the information received, on September 4, 2008, the Tehran Supreme Court overturned the death sentence pronounced against Mr. Hassanpour on July 9, 2007, because of a procedural error. Indeed, the judgment could not, according to the Supreme Court, consider Mr. Hassanpour as a "moraheb" (an enemy of God). His case was therefore sent back to the Sanandaj Tribunal, which will rule again on the case.

The Observatory welcomes this decision and calls upon the judicial authorities to ensure that Mr. Hassanpour be granted a fair trial.

Furthermore, the Observatory recalls that Mr. Abdoulvahid (also known as Hiwa) Boutimar, an active member of the environmental NGO Sabzchia who had been sentenced to death along with Mr. Hassanpour, has been sentenced to death a second time by the Court of Bahman on March 17, 2008, after his death sentence had been quashed by the Supreme Court on October 22, 2007.

Messrs. Hassanpour and Boutimar, who were detained in Sanandaj, Kurdistan, would have reportedly been transferred to Evin prison.

Moreover, the Observatory recalls that numerous United Nations bodies, including the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN Committee Against Torture and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, have called for the abolition of capital punishment, and that international law (Art. 6 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in particular) requires that the death penalty be reserved for the most serious crimes only - this can obviously in no way encompass the peaceful expression of dissent.

The Observatory also reiterates that as a member of the Human Rights Council, Iran has accepted to "uphold to the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights" [1].

Background information:

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". 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.

The two men have been 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 physical and mental health, and informed their families that the Iranian authorities had denied them access to appropriate medical treatment.

On October 22, 2007, the Iranian Supreme Court upheld the sentence to death of Mr. Hassanpour issued on July 9, 2007 by the Revolutionary Tribunal in Marivan, for, inter alia, "espionage", "attacks upon national security", "diffusion of separatist propaganda", "treason" and "collaboration with Kurdish political opposition parties". On the same day, the Court quashed the other 9-July decision of the Revolutionary Tribunal concerning Mr. Boutimar, for procedural irregularities.

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. Release Messrs. Hassanpour and Boutimar immediately and unconditionally since their detention is arbitrary as it only seems to sanction their human rights activities;

iii. Ensure Mr. Hassanpour is granted a fair trial, and have unhindered access to legal representation;

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.

Addresses:

· 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: info@leader.ir / istiftaa@wilayah.org / webmaster@wilayah.org;

· President, His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.649.5880, E-mail: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir;

· 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: Irjpr@iranjudiciary.com;

· 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: matbuat@mfa.gov;

· Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email: mission.iran@ties.itu.int;

· Ambassador Mr. Ahani, Embassy of Iran in Brussels, avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 15 A. 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email: iran-embassy@yahoo.com.

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

***

Geneva-Paris, September 5, 2008

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: Appeals@fidh-omct.org

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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New information

IRN 007 / 0807 / OBS 092.2

Arbitrary detention / Judicial proceedings / Sentencing
Iran

September 5, 2008

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