January 25, 2012
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 following situation in Iran.
The Observatory has been informed by the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) of the summons of Dr. Mohammad Maleki to serve a one-year prison term.
According to the information received, on January 23, 2012, Dr. Mohammad Maleki, founding member of the Iranian Association for the Defence of Liberty and Human Rights (IADLHR), was summoned to Evin prison to serve a one-year prison term (See background information) and was given three days to go to prison. He stands a high risk of arrest at any time.
The Observatory condemns the judicial harassment of Dr. Mohammad Maleki since it seems to merely aim at sanctioning his human rights activities and expresses its deep concern about the ongoing attempts to hinder the peaceful activities of human rights defenders in Iran.
Dr. Maleki spent five years in prison from July 1981 to August 1986 as a result of his strong objection to the closure of universities. He was also arrested on March 12, 2001 and spent more than six months in solitary confinement without trial.
On August 22, 2009, Dr. Mohammad Maleki was again arrested after the presidential election for having boycotted the 2009 presidential election and protesting the post-election abuses and spent more than six months in detention in Evin prison before being released on bail in March 2010. He was then accused of contacts with opposition groups. During his detention, he was hospitalised several times owing to a heart attack and other physical problems including prostate cancer. He was also reportedly denied access to an adequate treatment.
His trial, which was initially scheduled at Branch 28 of the Islamic Revolution Court for July 27, 2011, was then re-scheduled to July 30, 2011 due to the refusal of the accused to attend the trial. Dr Maleki then attended the court, but refused to defend himself and said he would not appeal the sentence, because he considered the court of first instance to be illegal. He had initially faced the charge of “moharebeh” (fighting God), “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamanei” (the incumbent leader) but was finally sentenced on the charge of “propaganda against the system.”
In September 2011, he wrote a brief report to the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran on the tortures he had suffered during his prison terms and was subsequently interrogated and received a notice banning him from travelling abroad.
Please write to the Iranian authorities and ask them to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Dr. Mohammad Maleki as well as that of all human rights defenders and their families in Iran;
ii. Put an end to any kind of harassment – including at the judicial level – against Dr. Mohammad Maleki and more generally against all human rights defenders in Iran.
iii. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular:
its article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”;
its article 5.b, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels, (…) to form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups”;
its 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”;
iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Iran.