WARNING! Case of death row political prisoner Jafar Kazemi referred to the court

Recent reports indicating that Jafar Kazemi’s death sentence has been upheld have made his family extremely worried over the past days.

Jafar Kazemi’s family had referred to various organizations such as the Revolutionary Court, Security force base, and the prosecutor to obtain information on his case whom all refused to provide at the time.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Revolutionary Court based in Evin prison has told Kazemi’s family that “Jafar Kazemi’s death sentence has been referred to the execution branch of the Revolutionary Court and is awaiting confirmation.”

Jafar Kazemi, was arrested on September 18, 2009 by Intelligence ministry agents and was transferred to ward 209 of Evin prison’s solitary confinement after being brutally beaten. He was kept in solitary confinement for 74 days.

Published by RAHANA on January 7, 2011.


Take action!

Jafar Kazemi is our "adoptive brother" since our group has adopted his case on the occasion of the anniversary of the rigged election in June 2010. Therefore we again ask you to support him.

1) Sign the online petition: http://www.gopetition.com/petition/36276.html

2) Send e-mails and faxes to politicians, media and international organizations like the UN. You can use the sample letter below, but it will be more effective if you use your own words. In addition to the list given below, try to find other contacts in your country.


Sample Letter (from Persian2English)

Dear [name of individual or organization],

I am writing to you regarding the case of Jafar Kazemi, an Iranian political prisoner sentenced to death under the charge of Moharebeh (waging war against God) for participation in protests following the June 12, 2009 Presidential election. His execution order has recently been referred to the execution branch of the Revolutionary Court and can be carried out at any moment.

Jafar Kazemi was also imprisoned from 1981 to 1990 for visiting his son in Camp Ashraf (a base in Iraq run by the Mujahedin-e Khalgh Organization). He was witness to the horrific mass executions of Iranian political prisoners in 1988. Kazemi spent the decade behind bars and endured barbaric physical and psychological torture.

Jafar Kazemi is 47 years old, married, and has two children. He is a lithographer for academic books and illustrations at Amirkabir University. On September 18, 2009, after attending a Qods Day protest, Kazemi was arrested by officials from the Ministry of Intelligence. He was taken to ward 209 of Evin prison and spent 74 days in solitary confinement where he was subjected to interrogation and extremely painful psychological and physical torture.

Jafar Kazemi’s family met with Bakhtiari, the Minister of Justice. Bakhtiari stated that he was unable to do anything because a pardon for a political prisoner execution must first be attained from Ali Khamenei. The statement by the Minister of Justice is conclusive evidence that death sentences issued to political prisoners is a matter Khamenei decides on.

Jafar Kazemi's lawyer Nasim Ghanavi has stated a number of times that the Moharebeh charge for Jafar Kazemi is baseless. According to Ghanavi, Shi’ite scholars state that the charge of Moharebeh is levied against those who rise up in an armed revolt against the government. Ghanavi explains that this is not the case with her client. It is believed that he did take part in post-election gatherings and chanted slogans but his lawyer says the charge of Moharebeh is baseless. Ghanavi explained that the appeal for Kazemi was never really considered by the court and the Moharebeh charge was never looked into.

In an interview with Voice of America on July 31, 2010, Ghanavi explained that Kazemi cannot be considered a member of the MKO based solely on the accusations of the prosecutor. She added, "It cannot be proved that he is part of the MKO, because he is not. Even if we state that he is a member of the MKO, this still does not support the Moharebeh charge. It is possible that he could be found guilty of other crimes, but accusing him of Moharebeh and issuing the death sentence is a violation of human rights."

Given the above, I ask that you use any means in your power to obtain the following for Jafar Kazemi:

- An end to his imminent execution;

- for his death sentence to be overturned on the grounds that he was harshly interrogated and tortured;

- that he be granted a new trial if charges against him remain, with access to legal counsel, a public hearing by an impartial tribunal and protection from torture or coerced confessions as laid out in the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) and UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

- if no valid charges remain, that he be immediately and unconditionally released from prison.

We also request that you:

- urge the Iranian authorities to commute all death sentences in Iran, including any imposed in connection with the post-election protests;

- remind the Iranian authorities that the ICCPR, to which Iran is a state party, states that the death penalty can only be carried out for “the most serious crimes”, which the Human Rights Committee has clarified must be “intentional crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences."

Jafar Kazemi's case has been forwarded to the implementation stage and we are concerned about the imminent risk to his life. We ask that you force the Islamic Republic of Iran to comply with international law and norms, abide by treaties that the UN places its name on, and act to save his life.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]


Contact Addresses

Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General
Email:sg@un.org

Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Email:npillay@ohchr.org

Uri Rosenthal, Netherlands - Minister of Foreign Affairs
Email:m@minbuza.nl

Beatriz Lorenzo, Spain – Human Rights Office
Email:beatriz.lorenzo@maec.es

Michael Spindelegger, Austria
Email:michael.spindelegger@bmeia.gv.at

Michèle Alliot-Marie, France
Contact form: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/navigation_3620/courrier_3884/reaction-...

Guido Westerwelle, Germany
Email:guido.westerwelle@auswaertiges-amt.de

Michael Martin, Ireland
Email:minister@dfa.ie

Carl Bildt, Sweden
Email:registrator@foreign.ministry.se

Micheline Calmy-Rey, Switzerland
Email:info@eda.admin.ch

Lawrence Cannon, Canada – Minister of Foreign Affairs
Email:Cannon.L@parl.gc.ca

William Hague, United Kingdom
Email:haguew@parliament.uk

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President – Brazil
Email:legalizar@itamaraty.gov.br

Stephen Harper, Canada – Prime Minister
Email:pm@pm.gc.ca

Steven Vanackere, Belgium
Email:kab.bz@diplobel.fed.be

Ossur Skarpheoinsson, Iceland
Email:external@utn.stjr.is

Franco Frattini, Italy
Email:gabinetto@cert.esteri.it

Kathy Stewart, US Bureau of Democracy & Human Rights
Email:stewartkb@state.gov

Malick El Hadji Sow, Chairperson – Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Email:wgad@ohchr.org

Shaheen Sardar Ali, Vice-Chairperson – Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Email:s.s.ali@warwick.ac.uk

Ali Reza Avaie, Head of the Tehran Judiciary
Email:avaei@Dadgostary-tehran.ir


Copy & Paste Version

TO: npillay@ohchr.org, urgent-action@ohchr.org

CC: inquiries@un.org, info_leader@leader.ir

Contact information for Foreign Ministries and the US State Department:

michael.spindelegger@bmeia.gv.at, kab.bz@diplobel.fed.be, info@mvp.gov.ba, iprd@mfa.government.bg, imprensa@itamaraty.gov.br, ministar@mvpei.hr, minforeign1@mfa.gov.cy, podatelna@mzv.cz, udenrigsministeren@um.dk, vminfo@vm.ee, umi@formin.fi, inform@mfa.gov.ge, guido.westerwelle@auswaertiges-amt.de, gpapandreou@parliament.gr, titkarsag.konz@kum.hu, external@utn.stjr.is, minister@dfa.ie, gabinetto@cert.esteri.it, segreteria.frattini@esteri.it, mfa.cha@mfa.gov.lv, tonio.borg@gov.mt, secdep@mfa.md, post@mfa.no, DNZPC.Sekretariat@msz.gov.pl, ministro@mne.gov.pt, senec@mne.gov.pt, pm@pm.gov.pt, msp@mfa.rs, miguel.moratinos@maec.es, registrator@foreign.ministry.se, info@eda.admin.ch

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