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Amnesty concerned about Jews arrested in Iran

8 June 1999

IRAN : Legal Concern / Possible Death Penalty

Navid Balazadeh, 16
Nejat Beroukhim, 35
Farhad Seleh, 30
Shahrokh Paknahad, 29
Ramin Farzam, 35
Farzad Kashi, 30
Faramarz Kashi, 34 (brother of above)
Aasher Zadmehr (aka Shekasteh Band),
48 Nasser Yaghoub Levy Haim (Leveeim),
45 Javeed Beit Yaghoub,
40 Ramin Nemati, possibly 22
Danny Tefileen, possibly 28
Omid Tefileen, possibly 25 (brother of above)

Amnesty International is concerned that the 13 people named above may be at risk of unfair trial and could face the death penalty if convicted. News reports citing the Iranian authorities state that they have been accused of spying for Israel and the US, and are to be prosecuted in a Revolutionary Court on espionage charges. Espionage carries the death penalty in Iran. Lawyers and observers are excluded from trials at Revolutionary Courts, where trials often fall short of minimum international fair trial standards.

All 13, who lived in the Jewish communities in the cities of Shiraz and Isfahan, were arrested around 21 March 1999, and are detained in Shiraz. They are thought to include rabbis, religious teachers and community activists. Most have been denied family visits and legal representation, and no bail has been set. There has also been no official explanation of their initial arrest in March.


Iran's Jewish population of 20,000 to 30,000 is one of the largest in the Middle East. Certain religious minorities are officially recognised in Iran, including Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians. Espionage is punishable by death in Iran. In 1997, two people were hanged after they were convicted on espionage charges.


Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters: - seeking urgent clarification of the charges brought against all 13 people; - seeking assurances that all 13 will be allowed access to family and to independent legal representation of their choice; - as all 13 have been held in pre-trial detention for approximately 70 days already, seeking assurances that trial proceedings will commence within a reasonable time.


Leader of the Islamic Republic: His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei The Presidency Palestine Avenue Azerbaijan Intersection Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Telegrams: Ayatollah Khamenei, Tehran, Iran Faxes: 011 98 21 650 203 (via Interior Ministry, ask for fax to be forwarded) Salutation: Your Excellency

President: His Excellency Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Sayed Mohammad Khatami The Presidency Palestine Avenue Azerbaijan Intersection Tehran, The Islamic Republic of Iran Telegrams: President Khatami, Tehran, Iran Faxes: 011 98 21 674 790 (via Foreign Affairs, ask for fax to be forwarded) Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary: His Excellency Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi Ministry of Justice Park-e Shahr Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Telegrams: Head of the Judiciary, Tehran, Iran Salutation: Your Excellency Minister of the Interior: His Excellency

Moussavi Lari Ministry of the Interior Dr Fatemi Avenue Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Telegrams: Interior Minister, Tehran, Iran Faxes: 011 98 21 899 547/650 203 Salutation: Your Excellency


Minister of Foreign Affairs: His Excellency Kamal Kharrazi Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Avenue Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Faxes: 011 98 21 674 790

Mr Mohammad Hassan Zia'i-Far Secretary, Islamic Human Rights Commission PO Box 13165-137 Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Faxes: 011 98 21 204 0541

In lieu of an embassy, please send to: Iranian Interests Section 2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW Washington DC 20007 Please send appeals immediately.

Check with the Colorado office between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, Mountain Time, weekdays only, if sending appeals after July 20, 1999. This information is from Amnesty International's research headquarters in London, England.

A.I. is an independent worldwide movement working for the international protection of human rights. It seeks the release of people detained because of their beliefs, color, sex, ethnic origin, language or religious creed, provided they have not used nor advocated violence. These are termed prisoners of conscience. It works for fair and prompt trials for all political prisoners and works on behalf of such people detained without charge or trial. It opposes the death penalty, extra-judicial executions (political killings), 'disappearances' and torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of all prisoners without reservation.

Amnesty International promotes awareness of and adherance to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognized human rights instruments, the values enshrined in them and the indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights and freedoms. Please do not repost this appeal to any part of the Internet without prior permission from Amnesty International. T

hank you for your help with this appeal.

Please read the monthly Urgent Action Network Newsletter posted on the web at:

Urgent Action Network Amnesty International USA PO Box 1270 Nederland CO 80466-1270
Phone: 303 258 1170 Fax: 303 258 7881


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