Iran: Arbitrary arrest of human rights lawyers Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi and Arash Kaykhosravi

23/08/2018
Urgent Appeal
en fa

IRN 003 / 0818 / OBS 106
Arbitrary arrest / Release on bail /
Arbitrary detention /
Judicial harassment
Iran
August 23, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint partnership of 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 League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) about the arbitrary arrest and detention of Messrs. Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi and Arash Kaykhosravi, two human rights lawyers.

According to the information received, on August 18, 2018, Messrs. Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi and Arash Kaykhosravi were arrested by security forces while they were taking part in a gathering in front of the Iranian Parliament to protest against the Guardian Council of the Constitution (GCC)’s control over the election process in general in Iran and the vetting of candidates at all elections, and call for free, fair and transparent elections[1]. They were taken to Evin prison in Tehran.

A third lawyer, Mr. Massood Javadieh, was also arrested in front of the Parliament, before being released on bail on the same day. He has not been notified of any charges yet.

On August 19, 2018, Messrs. Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi and Arash Kaykhosravi were transferred to Greater Tehran prison, located in Fashafuyeh district outside Tehran, after being charged with “assembly and collusion with intent to commit crimes against national security” by Branch 5 of the Prosecutor’s Office, based inside Evin prison.

Mr. Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi is a former Member of Parliament, serving two terms between 1988 and 1996, and a Professor of Law in Tehran University, and has represented a number of political activists in court. He has been disqualified from standing in every parliamentary and presidential election since 1996. He has been arrested and imprisoned several times and was arrested in April 2011, tried and imprisoned by the Islamic Revolution Court for “insulting the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei” and “spreading propaganda against the system”. He was released at the end of his one-year prison sentence in April 2012. His health had also deteriorated due to acts of torture suffered during a previous arrest in 2002.

Mr. Arash Kaykhosravi has defended numerous human rights defenders and political activists and is one of the lawyers representing the family of Mr. Daryoush Forouhar, a former Minister of Labour who was killed in 1998 by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence.

The Observatory condemns the arbitrary arrest of Messrs. Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi, Arash Kaykhosravi and Massood Javadieh as well as the ongoing detention of Messrs. Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi and Arash Kaykhosravi. The Observatory calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Messrs. Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi and Arash Kaykhosravi and put an end to the judicial harassment against them, which is only aimed at punishing their legitimate and peaceful use of their right to freedom of assembly and expression.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Iran asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi, Arash Kaykhosravi and Massood Javadieh, as well as of all human rights defenders in Iran;

ii. Immediately and unconditionally release Messrs. Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi and Arash Kaykhosravi, as well as all human rights defenders detained in Iran, as their detention is arbitrary as it is merely aimed at punishing them for their human rights activities;

iii. Guarantee their right to due process and fair trial, as protected under international law, including the unhindered access to their lawyers and families;

iv. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Messrs Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi, Arash Kaykhosravi and Massood Javadieh, as well as of all human rights defenders in Iran and ensure that they are able to carry out their activities without hindrances;

v. Conform in all circumstances to the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular its Articles 1 and 12.2;

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights instruments ratified by Iran.

Addresses:
• Leader of the Islamic Republic, H.E. Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, Fax: + 98 21 441 2030, Email: info_leader@leader.ir; Twitter: @khamenei_ir
• President Hassan Rouhani, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 644 54811; Email: media@rouhani.ir; Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian).
• Head of the Judiciary, H.E. Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98 21 879 6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567, Email: info@dadiran.ir / info@dadgostary-tehran.ir / info@bia-judiciary.ir
• Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98-21-66743149; matbuat@mfa.gov.ir
• Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights, Mr. Mohammed Javad Larijani, Islamic Republic of Iran. Email: info@humanrights-iran.ir
• H.E. Mr. Javad Amin-Mansour, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email: mission.iran@ties.itu.int
• H.E. Mr. Peiman Seadat, Ambassador, Embassy of Iran in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email: secreteriat@iranembassy.be

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

***

Paris-Geneva, August 23, 2018

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

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax FIDH +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
· Tel and fax OMCT +41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / +41 22 809 49 29

[1] The GCC is responsible for supervising all national public elections, interpreting the Constitution, weighing qualification of nominees for presidency and those who seek a seat in Parliament and the Assembly of Experts (AE), as well as ensuring the compatibility of the legislation passed by the Parliament with the criteria of Islam and the constitution. The body exercises discretionary power over all electoral processes and can disqualify any candidates before and after elections without providing reasons.

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