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Iran

    October 15, 2019

    Amnesty International is welcoming news that Maryam Mombeini has finally reunited with her two sons in Canada, more than 18 months after Iranian authorities separated the family at Tehran’s airport.

    In a heartfelt video posted to Twitter, Maryam is seen embracing her sons, Ramin and Mehran Seyed-Emami, at the Vancouver International Airport on October 10. It had been 582 days since they had last seen each other.

    “We are grateful to the Canadian government, and specifically Foreign Minister Freeland for their unwavering support from day one. We are also thankful to Iran for allowing our mother, Maryam Mombeini, to finally leave and join us in Vancouver,” said Ramin in a statement sent to media and shared with Amnesty International.

    “We have been overwhelmed with an amazing outpour of love and support from everyone. And we cannot be happier to have such an amazing network of friends and family, who’ve stood by our side through thick and thin.

    September 09, 2019

    Responding to reports of a Revolutionary Court’s decision on 7 September to hand four journalists and three labour rights activists between six and 18 years in prison and, in one case, 74 lashes on bogus national security charges, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director, Philip Luther, said:

    “These outrageous sentences are just the latest to be meted out by Iran’s cruel justice system and expose the authorities’ complete disregard for journalists and workers’ rights. 

    “These individuals are blatantly being targeted and punished for their work defending human rights and for publicizing human rights violations. This disgraceful injustice must be reversed. We call on the Iranian authorities to quash these unjust verdicts and cruel sentences and immediately and unconditionally release all seven individuals.

    August 23, 2019

    Ahmadreza Djalali with his partner © Private

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 38/17 HERE

    Iranian-Swedish medical doctor and academic Ahmadreza Djalali has been subjected to enforced disappearance since 29 July when Iranian authorities transferred him from Tehran’s Evin prison to an unidentified location. He is under pressure to “confess” to new crimes. If he does not, the authorities have threatened him with the implementation of his death sentence.

    On 29 July, Ahmadreza Djalali was transferred, without prior notice and while blindfolded, from Tehran’s Evin prison to an unidentified location. The authorities have since concealed the details of his whereabouts from his family and lawyer, subjecting him to enforced disappearance. On 5 August, his family learned, through an informal government contact outside Iran, that he may be in a secret detention facility run by the Revolutionary Guards.

    August 14, 2019

    Photos of Arash Sadeghi via Twitter

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 174/13 HERE

    Critically ill prisoner of conscience and human right defender Arash Sadeghi is being tortured in Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj through the intentional and purposeful denial of his access to cancer treatment. This causes him severe pain and suffering. A serious post-operation infection has developed in his right arm due to lack of care in prison. He has also been denied critical bone marrow tests to monitor if his cancer has spread. His life is being put at risk. 

    August 13, 2019

    Monireh Arabshahi ©Private

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 96/19 HERE

    UPDATE OF AUGUST 8:

    Yasaman Aryani and Monireh Arabshahi have each been sentenced to 16 years in prison. Mojgan Keshavarz has now been sentenced to 23 years and six months in prison. If the verdicts are upheld on appeal, they would each be required to serve 10 years of their prison sentences. The request for action (see below) remains the same as posted originally.

    Defenders of women’s rights Monireh Arabshahi, Yasaman Aryani and Mojgan Keshavarz have been arbitrarily detained in Shahr-e Ray prison outside Tehran since April 2019. They have been charged with offences including “inciting and facilitating corruption and prostitution” through promoting “unveiling” only because they campaigned against abusive forced veiling laws. None have had access to a lawyer. All are prisoners of conscience.

    August 08, 2019
    Portrait of Saeed Malekpour

    On August 2, Maryam Malekpour was finally reunited with her brother Saeed in Vancouver after she had campaigned tirelessly for 11 years to free him from prison in Iran.

    “The nightmare is finally over!” Maryam wrote on Twitter. “Together we prevailed.”

    Maryam thanked “every single person who supported us throughout this time.”

    Saeed, a permanent resident of Canada, was arrested in Iran in October 2008 while on a visit to his dying father.

    Saeed was a web programmer and it was alleged that a program he developed was used to upload pornographic photos to the internet. Saeed had no knowledge of the program being used for that purpose.

    After his arrest, Saeed was held in solitary confinement for more than a year. Ill-treated, tortured and denied medical care until he "confessed", Saeed’s televised “confession” was the only evidence used against him.

    Following an unfair trial, Saeed was sentenced to death. In 2012, his sentence was reduced to life imprisonment.

    August 07, 2019

    After learning that Saeed Malekpour has returned to Canada following close to 11 years of unjust and unlawful imprisonment in Iran, Amnesty International Canada Secretary General Alex Neve said:

    “We are relieved and delighted to learn of Saeed Malekpour’s safe return to Canada after more than a decade in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. Saeed’s resilient spirit in the face of torture, psychological abuse, forced confessions and unjust imprisonment has been truly remarkable.  His return home is testament as well to the courage and dedication of his sister, Maryam Malekpour, who diligently worked to shed light on his situation and tirelessly led the campaign for his freedom. Amnesty International Canada extends a warm welcome home to Saeed and wishes him and Maryam well in their long-awaited reunion.”

    Alex Neve further said:

    August 01, 2019

    The flogging of Kurdish singer and prisoner of conscience Peyman Mirzazadeh 100 times demonstrates the shocking brutality of Iran’s justice system, said Amnesty International.

    Peyman Mirzazadeh had been sentenced to two years in prison and 100 lashes after being convicted of “drinking alcohol” and “insulting Islamic sanctities”. The flogging was carried out on 28 July and left him in agonizing pain with a severely swollen back and legs. He is currently on hunger strike in protest at his treatment and sentence.

    “It is appalling that Peyman Mirzazadeh was subjected to such an unspeakably cruel punishment. His flogging highlights the inhumanity of a justice system that legalizes brutality. He is a prisoner of conscience detained merely for exercising his freedom of expression and the Iranian authorities must release him immediately and unconditionally,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    July 15, 2019

    Iran’s authorities are using incommunicado detention, prolonged solitary confinement and threats against family members in order to extract forced video “confessions” from women’s rights defenders detained for campaigning against the country’s discriminatory forced veiling (hijab) laws, said Amnesty International. 

    The organization has identified a pattern of at least six such cases since April 2019. In one of them, a young women’s rights defender was subjected to enforced disappearance from 2 to 13 July.

    “Threatened by the momentum behind a growing women’s rights movement against Iran’s forced veiling laws, the Iranian authorities are employing crude tactics to discredit activists campaigning against forced veiling, dissuade others from joining the movement and instil fear in society,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    June 03, 2019

    Responding to the news that Iranian human rights lawyer Amirsalar Davoudi has been sentenced to 30 years in prison and 111 lashes for his human rights work, including publicizing violations through a channel he set up on the Telegram mobile messaging app and by giving media interviews, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philip Luther, said:

    “This shockingly harsh sentence is an outrageous injustice. Amirsalar Davoudi is blatantly being punished for his work defending human rights.

    “Setting up a Telegram channel to expose human rights violations is not a crime. The Iranian authorities must release Armisalar Davoudi immediately and unconditionally.

    “Amirsalar Davoudi is the latest victim of a vicious crackdown waged by the Iranian authorities against human rights lawyers over the past two years, which has seen Iranian courts hand out increasingly harsh sentences to stop them

    from being able to carry out their work.

    May 17, 2019

    A contemptible amendment to Iran’s code of criminal procedure could effectively strip detainees who are facing punishments such as the death penalty, life imprisonment and amputation, of the right to access a lawyer while they are under investigation, said Amnesty International.

    An analysis of the bill published by the organization today details how, if passed, the amended law would permit the prosecution to immediately deprive individuals arrested on “national security” and certain other serious criminal charges of access to a lawyer for 20 days, which could be extended to cover the whole investigation phase. In Iran, those charged with “national security” offences include human rights defenders, journalists and political dissidents targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights.

    May 03, 2019

    Iranian lawyer and women’s rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh’s heartbreaking letters from prison reveal the trauma inflicted on families by the government that claims to protect them.

    TAKE ACTION: Free Nasrin Now!

    May 03, 2019
    Nasrin and her 2 children
    Iranian lawyer and women’s rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh’s heartbreaking letters from prison reveal the trauma inflicted on families by the government that claims to protect them.

    Nasrin Sotoudeh is a lawyer who has never shied away from doing what’s right in Iran. In her long and impressive career, she has exposed the injustices of the death penalty and campaigned for children’s rights. Most recently, she defied degrading laws that force girls as young as nine to wear a hijab or face prison, flogging or a fine. Nasrin has been sentenced to a total of 38 years and 148 lashes after two unfair trials because she demanded choice for women and girls. She will have to serve 17 years of this sentence.

    April 29, 2019

    The Iranian authorities have flogged and secretly executed two boys under the age of 18, Amnesty International has learned, displaying an utter disdain for international law and the rights of children.

    Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat, two cousins, were executed on 25 April in Adelabad prison in Shiraz, Fars province, southern Iran. Both were arrested aged 15 and convicted on multiple rape charges following an unfair trial.

    According to information received by Amnesty International, the teenagers were unaware that they had been sentenced to death until shortly before their executions and bore lash marks on their bodies, indicating that they had been flogged before their deaths. Their families and lawyers were not informed about the executions in advance and were shocked to learn of the news.

    April 18, 2019

    Iranian authorities must stop harassing, arresting and imprisoning women’s rights defenders peacefully protesting against Iran’s degrading and discriminatory forced veiling laws, and release those detained on this basis immediately and unconditionally, said Amnesty International today. 

    The organization has confirmed that two women’s rights defenders, Yasmin Aryani and Monireh Arabshahi, have been detained in the past week and that a third activist, Vida Movahedi, who has been detained since October 2018, was sentenced to one year in prison last month for peacefully protesting against forced veiling.

    Iran’s intelligence and security bodies have also subjected several other women’s rights defenders to threatening telephone calls, warning them that they will be arrested if they continue to campaign against forced veiling. Some have been summoned for questioning and fear imminent arrest.

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