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Iran: Reveal whereabouts of four Kurdish men

amnesty-internationalReveal whereabouts of four Kurdish men 

UA: 171/17 Index: MDE 13/6734/2017 Iran        Date: 13 July 2017 

Four men from Iran’s Kurdish minority have been subjected to enforced disappearance since their arrests on 23 and 24 June. The authorities have refused to provide any information to their families about their fate or whereabouts. The men, who are all related, are at risk of extrajudicial execution, torture, and other human rights violations.

Ramin Hosseinpanahi

Ramin Hossein Panahi, a member of the Komala armed opposition group, was arrested on 23 June after taking part in armed clashes with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the city of Sanandaj, Kurdistan province, northwest Iran. Amnesty International understands that Ramin Hossein Panahi was injured during the clashes. His family has not been informed of his fate or whereabouts but they learned through a local non-official source that, following his arrest, he was initially taken to a hospital for about an hour and then moved to an undisclosed location.

His family is concerned that he will be denied critical medical care for his injuries.

The Iranian authorities often deny prisoners access to adequate medical care, sometimes as an intentional act of cruelty intended to intimidate and punish them, or to extract forced “confessions”.  

Hours after Ramin Hossein Panahi’s arrest, the Revolutionary Guards stormed his parents’ house in the village of Qeruchay, near Sanandaj, and arrested his brother, Afshin Hossein Panahi

They raided the house again on 24 June and arrested three other members of his family: Ahmad Hossein Panahi (brother-in-law); Zobeyr Hossein Panahi(distant relative); and Anvar Hossein Panahi (cousin), who has since been released. Information received by Amnesty International suggests that none of these men had any involvement in the armed clashes.

Since their arrest, the authorities have refused to provide any information to their families about the fate or whereabouts of the three men still detained.

On 10 July, the mother of Ramin Hossein Panahi visited the Ministry of Intelligence office in Sanandaj, where officials said that the Revolutionary Guards were responsible for his case and therefore his arrest and that the Ministry of Intelligence had nothing to do with him. However, the Revolutionary Guards had previously told the family that they had transferred him to the detention of the Ministry of Intelligence so he was no longer their responsibility. The four men still in detention are victims of enforced disappearance, which is a crime under international law, and are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Please write immediately in English, Persian or your own language calling on the Iranian authorities to: 


– Immediately reveal the fate and whereabouts of Ramin Hossein Panahi, Afshin Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi;
– Release Afshin Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi if they have been detained solely because of their family connection with Ramin Hossein Panahi;
–  Ensure that all four men are provided with any medical care they may require and are protected from torture and other ill-treatment;
– Ensure that Ramin Hossein Panahi is provided with immediate access to medical care and to an independent lawyer of his choosing and promptly brought before a judge.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 24 AUGUST 2017 TO: 

Justice Department of Kurdistan Province 
Imam Shafe’i Square
Shahid Shebli Boulevard
Sanandaj
PO Box: 6614786964
Kurdistan Province
Iran

Head of the Judiciary 
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi
Above Pasteur Intersection
Vali Asr Street
Tehran, Iran

And copies to


Advisor to the President for Ethnic and Religious Minorities’ Affairs 

Ali Younesi
Office of the Presidency
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Iran

Also, send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please insert local diplomatic addresses below: 


Name                        

Address 1

Address 2

Address 3

Fax: Fax number

Email: Email address

Salutation: Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

 

Additional Information

The men’s families have reported making strenuous efforts to locate them by visiting various government offices in Sanandaj and Qorveh, and the village of Dehgolan, all in Kurdistan province, but said that officials refused to disclose their fate or whereabouts. Instead, officials have directed threats and insults at them, describing their loved ones as “terrorists”.

Amnesty International understands that the arrests of Ramin Hossein Panahi, Afshin Hossein Panahi, Anvar Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi were carried out in a violent manner. According to accounts from Ramin Hossein Panahi’s family, armed Revolutionary Guards wearing black masks broke down the front door of their family house on 24 June and beat the men, as well as Ramin Hossein Panahi’s sister and elderly father. They also warned them against holding gatherings or giving media interviews.

In addition to Ramin Hossein Panahi, three other men affiliated with the armed Kurdish opposition group Komala were involved in the exchange of gunfire on 23 June 2017. They included Sabah Hossein Panahi, Hamed Seyf Panahi and Behzad Nouri. Ramin Hossein Panahi was injured and subsequently arrested while the latter three were shot dead. The exchange of gunfire apparently started at a Revolutionary Guards checkpoint after the men were identified while traveling in a car and did not heed a call to stop. The authorities have refused to return the dead bodies of the three men to their families for burials and warned the families against holding memorial gatherings. Komala has claimed that six members of the Revolutionary Guards were also killed during the clashes but the Revolutionary Guards did not acknowledge any casualties in the official statement they issued on 23 June. Komala is an armed Kurdish opposition group which has been engaged in armed activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran since the 1980s.

Kurds are one of Iran’s disadvantaged ethnic minorities and face entrenched discrimination that curtails their access to employment, adequate housing and the exercise of their cultural, economic, civil and political rights. Continued economic neglect of provinces populated by Kurds, which include Kurdistan, Kermanshah and parts of West Azerbaijan, have further entrenched poverty and marginalization. Politically, Iran’s Kurdish minority have criticized the centralization of political life in Iran and the absence of any measures to introduce any form of minority self-government.

International law absolutely prohibits enforced disappearances and specifies that no exceptional circumstances whatsoever may be invoked as justification. Enforced disappearances are particularly cruel human rights violations. Individuals are cut off from the outside world, left knowing that their loved ones have no idea where they are or whether they are dead or alive. They are placed outside of the protection of the law and denied their right to legal representation or a fair trial. Treaty bodies, human rights courts and other human rights bodies have repeatedly found that enforced disappearances also violate the right to liberty and security of the person, the right not to be subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, the right to remedy, and the right to life. An enforced disappearance is also a “continuing crime”, which takes place so long as the disappeared person remains missing and information about his or her fate or whereabouts has not been provided by the state. Enforced disappearances also have a profound effect on the family members and friends of the disappeared individuals who are sometimes forced to anxiously wait years before they find out if their loved one is alive or dead.

Name: Ramin Hossein Panahi, Afshin Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, Zobeyr Hossein Panahi
Gender m/f: All male

UA: 171/17 Index: MDE 13/6734/2017 Issue Date: 13 July 2017

The Urgent Action is available on the Amnesty International website at the following link: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/MDE13/6734/2017/en/
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IRAN: FURTHER INFORMATION: YOUTH ARRESTED IN HIS TEENS AT RISK OF EXECUTION: HIMAN URAMINEJAD

7ca19-amnesty-internationalURGENT ACTION: YOUTH ARRESTED IN HIS TEENS AT RISK OF EXECUTION

Himan Uraminejad has been warned by prison officials that he is at risk of execution as Iran’s Head of Judiciary has approved the implementation of his death sentence. He has been on death row since 2012 for a crime committed when he was 17 years old.

Himan Uraminejad has been warned by prison officials that he is at risk of execution as Iran’s Head of Judiciary has approved the implementation of his death sentence. He has been on death row since 2012 for a crime committed when he was 17 years old.

Amnesty International has learnt on 21 November that Himan Uraminejad, aged 22, was informed by prison officials on 6 October that the Head of Judiciary had approved the implementation of his death sentence and his family should intensify their efforts to seek a pardon from the family of the deceased because his execution could be carried out at any moment. He was sentenced to death in August 2012 after a criminal court in Kurdistan Province convicted him of murder over the fatal stabbing of a boy during a group fight. He was 17 years old at the time of the crime. In September 2014, the Supreme Court quashed his death sentence and granted him a retrial, based on new juvenile sentencing provisions in Iran’s 2013 Islamic Penal Code. In June 2015, however, he was sentenced to death again. The criminal court presiding over his retrial referred to an official medical opinion that found “no evidence of a disorder at the time of the crime that would remove criminal liability”. The court also referred to Himan Uraminejad’s statements that he had no “mental illness or history of hospitalization” and understood killing someone was “religiously forbidden” (haram). The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in November 2015 and rejected a subsequent request for retrial.

himen-oraminejad-300x191

Himan Uraminejad was sentenced after a grossly unfair trial that relied on evidence obtained through torture. He was arrested on 22 April 2012 when he was 17 years old. He was subsequently transferred to an undisclosed detention centre where he was held for 20 days, without access to his family and lawyer. He has said that during this period, he was tortured, including by repeated beatings that left scars and bruises all over his face and body, and suspension from the ceiling by a rope tied to his feet. He has said that police also raped him with an object shaped like an egg, threatened to cut off his testicles and walked over his body with boots. Himan Uraminejad’s trial was held before an adult court, without special juvenile justice protections. The court ordered no investigation into his allegations of torture.

Please write immediately in English, Persian, Arabic, French and Spanish or your own language:

  • Urging the Iranian authorities to halt any plans to execute Himan Uraminejad, and commute his death sentence without delay;
  • Urging them to ensure that his conviction is quashed and that he is granted a fair retrial in accordance with the principles of juvenile justice, in particular ensuring that no statements obtained through torture and other ill- treatment are admitted as evidence;
  • Urging them to ensure his allegations of torture are investigated and those responsible are brought to justice;
  • Immediately establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death

Please send your appeals to the care of Iranian embassies in your country, listed below. If there is no Iranian embassy in your country, please mail the letter to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, 622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10017, United States. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 72/16. Further information: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/3722/2016/en/

URGENT ACTION: YOUTH ARRESTED IN HIS TEENS AT RISK OF EXECUTION

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 The minimum age of criminal responsibility in Iran is set at nine lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys. From this age, a child who is convicted of murder or crimes that fall in the category of hodud (offences that carry inalterable punishments prescribed by Shari’a law) is generally convicted and sentenced in the same way as an adult. However, since the adoption of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code, judges have been given discretion not to sentence juvenile offenders to death if they determine that juvenile offenders did not understand the nature of the crime or its consequences, or their “mental maturity” is in doubt.

The criteria for assessing “mental growth and maturity” are unclear and arbitrary. As illustrated by the case of Himan Uraminejad, judges often conflate the issue of lesser culpability of juveniles because of their lack of maturity with the diminished responsibility of people with mental illness, concluding that the juvenile offender was not “afflicted with insanity” or was “in a healthy mental state”, and therefore deserved the death penalty. Sometimes, judges focus exclusively on whether the juvenile could tell that it is wrong to kill a human being, and disregard interdisciplinary social science studies on the relationship between adolescence and crime, including neuroscientific findings on brain maturity, which have informed juvenile justice principles considering juveniles less culpable than adults due to their developmental immaturity and cognitive limitations (see Growing up on death row: The death penalty and juvenile offenders in Iran, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/3112/2016/en/).

As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran is legally obliged to treat everyone under the age of 18 as a child. This is different from the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which is the age below which children are deemed not to have the capacity to break the law. This age varies between countries, but it must be no lower than 12 years, according to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. People who have broken the law who are above the minimum age of criminal responsibility, but under 18, may be considered criminally responsible, prosecuted, tried and punished. However, they should never be subjected to the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of release.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reviewed Iran’s implementation of the CRC in January 2016. The Committee’s Concluding Observations expressed “serious concern” that the exemption of juvenile offenders from the death penalty is “under full discretion of judges who are allowed, but not mandated to seek forensic expert opinion and that several persons have been resentenced to death following such retrials”. Beside Himan Uraminejad, Amnesty International is aware of several other cases, including Salar Shadizadi, Hamid Ahmadi and Sajad Sanjari, who have been retried, found to have sufficient “mental maturity” at the time of the crime and sentenced to death again. Amnesty International is also aware of at least 15 juvenile offenders who have been sentenced to death for the first time since the adoption of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code.

Amnesty International has recorded at least 75 executions of juvenile offenders between 2005 and 2016, including two in 2016. One of them was Hassan Afshar, who was hanged in July. Iran’s lack of transparency on its use of the death penalty means that the total number of executions of juvenile offenders could be much higher. According to a UN report issued in 2014, at least 160 juvenile offenders are now on death row. Amnesty International has been able to identify the names of 78 of these juvenile offenders. Some of them have been on death row for over a decade and are either unaware of their right to seek a retrial based on the new provisions of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code or do not have the means to retain a lawyer to seek it for them.

The Head of the Judiciary must provide a type of approval known as estizan in all cases where the death penalty has been imposed under the Islamic principle of “retribution-in-kind” (qesas) before the sentence can be implemented.

Name: Himan Uraminejad Gender m/f: m

Further information on

Amnesty International: Urgent Action; Kurdish Juvenile offender Amanj Veisee has been sentenced to death for the second time, after a retrial

2e0c4-amnesty-internationalURGENT ACTION
 JUVENILE OFFENDER SENTENCED TO DEATH AGAIN
Juvenile offender Amanj Veisee has been sentenced to death for the second time, after a retrial. The court dismissed as “non-binding” an official forensic report which had concluded that he had not attained “mental growth and maturity” at the time of the crime, in April 2007, when he was 15 years old.

Iran_Kurdistan_Child Executions

Juvenile offender Amanj Veisee was resentenced to death for the murder of his cousin by Branch Three of Criminal Court No. 1 in the western province of Kermanshah in December 2015. The court ruled that “there is no doubt about his mental maturity at the time of the crime”. The verdict is less than a page long, and refers briefly to two statements by Amanj Veisee, which it states were later proven to be false, and point to his “intelligence and maturity”. In these statements Amanj Veisee had claimed that he stabbed his cousin only once in the leg, using a knife that a stranger passed on to him during the fight. The verdict also notes an expert opinion from a state forensic institution, the Legal Medicine Organization, on Amanj Veisee’s “lack of maturity at the time of the crime” but states, “the tests done now cannot reveal the truth about the past” and that expert opinions are intended only as guidance and are not binding on the court if they contradict other materials and existing evidence.

Amanj Veisee had been first sentenced to death in May 2008 after the Provincial Criminal Court of Kordestan Province convicted him of murder for fatally stabbing his cousin during a fight. The Supreme Court upheld the sentence three months later. In December 2013, when Amanj Veisee had reached the age of 22, the Head of the Judiciary gave permission for the sentence to be carried out, though by then a new Islamic Penal Code had entered into force which allowed courts to replace the death penalty with an alternative sentence if they determined that a juvenile offender had not understood the nature of the crime or its consequences, or there were doubts about his or her “mental growth and maturity” at the time of the crime. He was granted a retrial based on the 2013 Code in March 2015, after he had retained a new lawyer and sought a retrial from the Supreme Court.

Please write immediately in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:
n        Urging the Iranian authorities to immediately commute Amanj Veisee’s death sentence and not carry out the execution of any person who was below the age of 18 at the time of the crime;
n        Urging them to take legislative measures to completely abolish, without any discretion for the courts or other exceptions, the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by people below the age of 18, in line with Iran’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
 
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 1 APRIL 2016 TO:
Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei        
Islamic Republic Street- End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street        
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran        
Email: via website        
http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?
p=letter
Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English)
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary        
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani        
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi

Above Pasteur Intersection
Vali Asr Street        
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@humanrights-iran.ir
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
Prosecutor General of Tehran        
Abbas Ja’fari Dolat Abadi        
Tehran General and Revolutionary Prosecution Office
Corner (Nabsh-e) of 15 Khordad Square Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation        
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

Additional Information        

Amanj Veisee’s execution was twice scheduled and then postponed between 2013 and 2015. Branch 33 of the Supreme Court quashed his death sentence in March 2015 and ordered that a newly constituted court retry his case based on the juvenile sentencing guidelines of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code. As Kordestan’s Provincial Criminal Court is only composed of one branch and could not therefore provide a differently constituted panel, it referred the case for retrial to Branch Three of Kermanshah Province’s Criminal Court No. 1. Amanj Veisee said before and during the trial that he had not intended to kill his cousin whom he had grown up with and loved deeply, and that he had stabbed him in a frightened reaction to a situation where his 23-year-old cousin, whom he described as “muscular”, was strangling him. The court rejected the self-defence argument, and convicted him of “intentional murder” on the grounds that he had committed an act that was by its nature “deadly”.

As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran is legally obliged to treat everyone under the age of 18 as a child. This is different from the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which is the age below which children are deemed not to have the capacity to break the law. This age varies between countries, but it must be no lower than 12 years, according to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. People who have broken the law who are above the minimum age of criminal responsibility, but under 18, may be considered criminally responsible, prosecuted, tried and punished. However, they should never be subjected to the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of release.

The age of adult criminal responsibility in Iran has been set at nine lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys in cases of hodud(offences against God carrying inalterable punishments prescribed by Shari’a law) and qesas (retribution-in-kind connected with a criminal act), From this age a child convicted of these offences is generally convicted and sentenced in the same way as an adult. However, since the adoption of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code, judges have been given discretion not to sentence juvenile offenders to death if they determine that juvenile offenders did not understand the nature of the crime or its consequences, or their “mental growth and maturity” are in doubt.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reviewed Iran’s implementation of the CRC in January 2016. The Committee’s Concluding Observations express “serious concern” that the exemption of juvenile offenders from the death penalty is “under full discretion of judges who are allowed, but not mandated to seek forensic expert opinion and that several persons have been resentenced to death following such retrials”. Besides Amanj Veisee, Amnesty International is aware of at least seven other juvenile offenders – Salar Shadizadi, Hamid Ahmadi, Sajad Sanjari, Siavash Mahmoudi, Himan Uraminejad and Amir Amrollahi, and Fatemeh Salbehi – who have been retried, found to have sufficient “mental growth and maturity” at the time of the crime and sentenced to death again. The execution of Fatemeh Salbehi, who was 17 years old at the time of the commission of the crime, was carried out in October 2015. Amnesty International has recorded at least 73 executions of juvenile offenders between 2005 and 2015. According to the UN at least 160 juvenile offenders are now on death row (See Growing up on death row: The death penalty and juvenile offenders in Iran, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/3112/2016/en/).

Name: Amanj Veisee
Gender m/f: m

UA: 39/16 Index: MDE 13/3473/2016 Issue Date: 19 February 2016

IRAN: JAILED SYRIAN KURD IN IRAN NEEDS SURGERY: RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

2e0c4-amnesty-internationalIRAN: JAILED SYRIAN KURD IN IRAN NEEDS SURGERY: RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal

RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

By Amnesty International,

January 29,2016

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal, a Syrian Kurd serving a 10-year prison sentence in Iran, needs urgent medical care, including surgical treatment. On his way to hospital on 30 December with a postoperative infection, he was beaten by prison officials. He was returned to prison after two weeks without receiving adequate medical care.

RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal, a 33-year-old Syrian Kurd, is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj near Tehran, for “membership of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)”. He is in need of surgical treatment for an infection in his shoulder,which has resulted in partial paralysis of his arm. The infection appears to be the outcome of poor post-operative care following earlier surgical treatment inside prison. Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has said that he lost consciousness and fell into a coma after prison officials beat him while transferring him to hospital on 30 December. The first hospital he was taken to refused to admit him, despite his critical condition and previous arrangements made for his admission. He was then transferred to Tehran’s Imam Khomeini hospital, where he was apparently kept in the emergency department for around 48 hours before being admitted to a ward. Ramazan Ahmad Kamal was taken back to prison two weeks later, on 14 January, without receiving the treatment he needed. The transfer back to prison took place even though prison doctors and the Legal Medical Organization had apparently advised hospital treatment and Tehran’s Prosecutor had issued permission for his transfer to a hospital. He was cuffed to his bed during his entire stay in the hospital.

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal was arrested on 7 July 2008 by Iran’s border control guards after he, along with three other member of PKK, crossed the border from Iraq, allegedly by mistake. He was shot several times during arrest and sustained multiple gunshot wounds in his shoulder, abdomen, and thigh. He was initially sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Court in Khoy, Western Azerbaijan province but this was later commuted to 10 years in prison.

Please write immediately in Persian, English, Spanish, French, Arabic or your own language:

  • Urging the Iranian authorities to ensure that Ramazan Ahmad Kamal is immediately granted access to specialized medical care outside the prison;
  • Calling on them to investigate allegations that Ramazan Ahmad Kamal was subjected to beatings and other ill-treatment by prison officials and bring those responsible to justice;
  • Reminding them that Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to which Iran is a state party, protects the right of everyone, including prisoners, to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and that denial of adequate medical treatment may amount to a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment.PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 8 MARCH 2016 TO:
    The Office of the Supreme Leader
    Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
    Islamic Republic Street- End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Email: via website
    http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?
    p=letter
    Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English)
    Salutation: Your Excellency
    Head of the Judiciary
    Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani
    c/o Public Relations Office
    Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi
    Above Pasteur Intersection
    Vali Asr Street
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Email:
    info@humanrights-iran.ir
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    And copies to
    :
    Prosecutor General of Tehran
    Abbas Ja’fari Dolat Abadi
    Tehran General and Revolutionary Prosecution Office
    Corner (Nabsh-e) of 15 Khordad Square Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

    Salutation: Your Excellency

    Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
    Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
    Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.


Additional Information

Two other men belonging to the PPK, who were with Ramazan Ahmad Kamal at the time of arrest in 2008, were apparently shot dead by Iran’s border control guards. A third man managed to cross the border back into Iraq. Since his arrest, Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has been held in various prisons across the country including in Qazvin, Oroumieh, and Tehran.  He was not permitted access to a lawyer during the entire investigative phase and during his trial.

Following his return to prison from hospital in January 2016, Ramazan Ahmad Kamal wrote an open letter addressed to Dr Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. In his letter, he alleged that while he was being transferred to hospital, prison officials assaulted him including by kicking him on the head and beating him with a baton – resulting in him falling into a coma. He said that he endured severe bleeding from his nose and ears and sustained bruises. Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has lodged a complaint to Tehran’s Office of the Prosecutor with regards to the incident.

Amnesty International understands that Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has so far undergone two surgeries inside Raja’i Shahr Prison, which were apparently substandard and followed by inadequate post-surgical care. He has since developed an infection which appears to have resulted in partial paralysis of his arm.

The Iranian authorities frequently transfer prisoners in need of medical care to hospital, but Amnesty International understands that prisoners are not always provided with adequate medical care there and instead are simply returned to prison. Whether done intentionally or by neglect, failing to provide adequate medical care to prisoners is a breach of Iran’s international human rights obligations. The denial of medical treatment may amount to a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment, under Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party. Article 12 of the ICESCR specifically recognizes the right of every person to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Mandela Rules) also state that prisons must provide adequate medical care to prisoners without discrimination (Rules 24-35). Rule 27(1) of the Mandela Rules provides that “Prisoners who require specialized treatment or surgery shall be transferred to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals.” See this public statementhttps://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/2508/2015/en/ for more information.

Iran’s own prison regulations are also routinely flouted by prison and judicial officials. The regulations governing the administration of Iranian prisons stipulate that a prisoner suffering from a serious medical condition that cannot be treated inside prison, or whose condition will worsen if they stay in prison, should be granted medical leave so they can receive treatment.

International law requires States to conduct prompt, impartial, independent and thorough investigations into all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, bring those responsible to justice, and ensure that victims have access to an effective remedy and receive reparation, including rehabilitation.

Name: Ramazan Ahmad Kamal
Gender m/f: m

UA: 21/16 Index: MDE 13/3311/2016 Issue Date: 26 January 2016

AI-IRAN; Joint letter to the Permanent Representatives of Members of the UN HRC regarding the renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Iran

Amnesty International | IRAN – Joint letter to the Permanent Representatives of Members of the UN Human Rights Council regarding the renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Iran

Index: MDE 13/011/2013
7 March 2013

To Permanent Representatives of Member of the UN Human Rights Council

Re: Renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran

Your Excellency

On 21 or 22 March 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) will vote on the renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The situation has continued to deteriorate since the adoption of the last resolution by the Council in March 2012. Yet the government of Iran has refused to cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran. It remains critical that the Human Rights Council affirm that the abuses in Iran should end and continue to mandate an in-depth monitoring of the situation in the country, in particular ahead of the presidential election scheduled for June 2013.

We therefore urge the Member States of the UN Human Rights Council to:

§        Support the resolution renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran;
§        Strengthen the resolution of the Human Rights Council by condemning the patterns of systematic violations committed in Iran and the continued crackdown on dissenting voices and repeated failure to investigate both current and longstanding violations.

In his report to the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, the Special Rapporteur gave a glimpse of “the systematic issues that pose obstacles to the ability of Iran to comply with its international obligations.” The report documented cases of long periods of solitary confinement without charge or access to legal counsel, physical and psychological torture during interrogations such as sleep deprivation, mock hangings, electrocutions, rape, unfair trials, long-term internal exile and long-term activity and travel bans. The Special Rapporteur concluded that “these violations are products of legal incongruities, insufficient adherence to the rule of law, and the existence of widespread impunity.”

Despite being once more denied access to the country, the Special Rapporteur had the opportunity to follow 124 cases between February and June 2012. He conducted 99 interviews between February and June 2012, and 169 interviews between September and December 2012 with individuals located inside and outside the country.(1)

Despite asserting that it cooperates with the UN human rights mechanisms and standing invitation, Iran has continued to ignore the pending requests for visits by eight thematic Special Procedures. In 2012, Iran replied to only 8 out of 28 Special Procedure communications. Since the adoption of the previous resolution of the Human Rights Council, Special Rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council released 11 public statements denouncing abuses occurring in Iran.

Patterns of abuses in Iran range from severe restrictions on free speech and a continued crackdown on human rights defenders and activists to an extensive use of the death penalty, torture, amputations, and also violence and discrimination faced by women and minorities.
Exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and to information are subjected to severe restrictions. The Computer Crimes Law inter alia compels Internet service providers to document and store the computer histories and personal details of their users, systematically block websites, slow internet speeds and jam of foreign satellite broadcasts.

In July 2012, an appeal court sentenced Mansoureh Behkish, blogger and supporter of the Mourning Mothers, to 3.5 years suspended, 6 months custodial of detention for propagating against the regime. In September 2012, authorities summoned journalist Jila Baniyaghoob to serve a one year prison sentence for “spreading propaganda against the system” and “insulting the president,” and banned her from journalism for 30 years. Dozens of journalists and bloggers are still detained in Iran’s prisons.

The death of blogger Sattar Beheshtin custody, allegedly under torture, in November 2012 sparked domestic and international outrage. A parliamentary committee announced in January that several arrests had been made in connection with Beheshti’s killing. The committee said investigations were ongoing but there are no signs that the case has been taken up by Iran’s courts. In October 2012 security forces arrested a blogger and outspoken critic of the government, Dr. Mehdi Khazali, for unknown reasons. Despite an apparent order by the presiding judge allowing Khazali to post bail, authorities have so far prevented his release. He has been on a hunger strike protesting his detention and is reported to be in ill health.

In February 2013, a group of UN independent human rights experts denounced the arrest of 17 journalists, the majority of whom work for independent news outlets in Iran, and the imprisonment of 40 other journalists. The group of experts warned that “ahead of the June 2013 elections, the recent arrests may serve to reinforce self-censorship and severely constrict freedom of opinion and expression at a key moment in Iran’s political development.”(2) Two former presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, have remained under arbitrary house arrest since February 2011 even though no formal charges have been brought against them.(3)

Human rights activists continue to be persecuted by the regime. An appeal court sentenced human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani in early June 2012to 13 years in prison and barred him from practicing law for 10 years for establishing the Center for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), co-founded with Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi.(4) In April, an appeals court informed defence lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah that it had upheld his nine-year sentence on charges related to his interviews with foreign media and membership of the CHRD. He was barred from practice and teaching for 10 years .Authorities have detained lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh since her arrest in 2010, frequently held her in solitary confinement, and prevented her from regularly meeting or speaking with her family. An appeal court sentenced her to six years’ imprisonment and a 10-year ban on lawyering. Other rights defenders in prison include defence lawyer Mohammad Seifzadeh, another CHRD founder who is currently serving two years and was sentenced to six more years, and Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, the president of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan, who is serving an 11-year sentence.

Iran’s use of the death penalty remains a serious concern. According to Amnesty International, the authorities carried out more than 600 executions in 2011 and more than 500 in 2012 – many of them not officially announced by the government. The number of executions by public hangings has also increased dramatically. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 55 public hangings took place in 2012.(5) The authorities have carried out public hangings in major metropolitan squares as well as sports stadiums. Crimes punishable by death include – along with murder, rape, and espionage, – repeat conviction for alcohol consumption, adultery, sodomy, and drug trafficking and possession, as well as economic and security offences.

Iran leads the world in the execution of juvenile offenders. Iranian law allows capital punishment for persons who have reached puberty, defined as 9 for girls and 15 for boys. According to Human Rights Watch, in late 2012, there were more than 100 juvenile offenders on death row. The Special Rapporteur flagged the case of two men sentenced to death in June 2012 for consuming alcohol for the third time.

The judiciary in 2012 ordered and implemented an increasing number of cruel and inhuman punishments, such as limb amputations, in many cases amounting to torture. Many of these sentences were carried out in public and the authorities extensively publicised them, including by circulation of pictures of the amputation act, legitimising the use of cruel, inhumane and degrading punishments before the Iranian public. On November 13, 2012, four fingers of two individuals convicted of theft were amputated in public in Yazd province.(6) More recently, on January 24, 2013, authorities amputated fingers of a 29-year-old convict in the city of Shiraz.(7)

Iranian women continue to face legalised discrimination in the Constitution, penal code, as well as the civil code, personal status matters related to marriage, divorce, inheritance, and child custody. Several universities banned female enrolment in several academic fields.

Dissident Shi’a clerics and Shi’a-born adherents to informal associations and Muslim minorities, including Sunnis, face discrimination in political participation and employment. The authorities deny freedom of religion to adherents of the Baha’i faith, Iran’s largest non-Muslim religious minority, and regularly target Sufis and members of Iran’s home church movement. The government has restricted cultural and political activities among the country’s Azerbaijani, Turkic-speaking, Kurdish, Arab, and Baluch minorities. Security forces detained, tortured, and executed dozens of Iranian Arab activists in south-western Khuzestan province since 2011; several Baluch were executed in January and February and Kurdish political prisoners were on death row.

The HRC country mandate has made Iranians both inside and outside the country more aware of human rights standards and facilitated their engagement with the international community. Victims and activists have told human rights groups that they see the office of the Special Rapporteur as an objective, critical focal point for documenting rights abuses, and an impartial and reliable channel of communication between victims and the United Nations and its member states.

In this regard, the Special Rapporteur fulfils an important, unique and independent role exposing human rights violations in Iran. As human rights violations in Iran relate to broad and diverse categories of human rights, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur ensures that the full range of such abuses are documented and the government of Iran made accountable for them. The role of the Special Rapporteur will be even more crucial in bringing particular attention to the human rights dimension in the lead up to the June 2013 elections.

Extending the Special Rapporteur mandate will send an important message to the Iranian authorities that violations should stop and urge them to comply with their international obligations, to restore the dialogue with the international community and to genuinely cooperate with international human rights mechanisms.

The Human Rights Council should also adopt a resolution which condemns the patterns of systematic violations committed in Iran and reflects the concerns expressed by the General Assembly, as well as the conclusions of the reports of the United Nations Secretary-General and of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Iran.

For these reasons, we urge your delegation to support the adoption of the resolution and the renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur in Iran during the upcoming session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Sincerely
 
§        Amnesty International
§        Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
§        Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
§        CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation
§        Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)
§        Conectas Direitos Humanos
§        East and Horn of African Human Rights Defenders project (EHAHRDP)
§        Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
§        Freedom From Torture
§        Human Rights Watch
§        International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
§        International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH International Federation for Human Rights (FIDHInternational Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
§        International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
§        International InhfjdhfjdhinWorld Organisation Against TortureUnited 4 Iran
§        West African Human Rights Defenders Network (WAHRDN)
§        World Organization Against Torture (OMCT)

END NOTES
1. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, September 13th, 2012. Available at: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N12/508/13/PDF/N1250813.pdf?OpenElement
2. UN experts call on Iran to stop journalist arrests and release those detained. February 5th, 2013. Available at : http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12967&LangID=E
3. Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its sixty-fourth session, 27–31 August 2012 – No. 30/2012 (Islamic Republic of Iran),http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G12/183/28/PDF/G1218328.pdf?OpenElement
4. Among other cases, an appeal court sentenced human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani in early June 2012 to 13 years in prison and barred him from practicing law for 10 years for establishing the Center for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), co-founded with Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi” http://www.fidh.org/IRAN-United-Nations-Working-Group-12849
5. UN human rights office condemns execution of Iranian juvenile, January 22, 2013. Available at: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43980&#.USuRU47nsoR
6. Four Fingers of Two Individuals Convicted of Theft Amputated in Public in Iran, November 16, 2012. Available at: http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2012/11/amputation_yazd/
7. Amputation Machine, February 7, 2013. Available at: http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2013/02/photo_3/; and original link for the picture of the amputation machine on the semi-official Iranian news website (ISNA) as follows: http://fars.isna.ir/Default.aspx?NSID=5&SSLID=46&NID=23776