News & views
Amnesty's urgent appeal on death sentences
News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International
* PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/24/99
13 September 1999
Four men arrested in the wake of student demonstrations in July 1999 are reported to have been sentenced to death.
On 12 September 1999, Gholamhossein Rahbarpur, the President of Tehran Revolutionary Court, announced the death sentences in an interview to Jomhuri-ye Eslami newspaper, stating that two of the death sentences have already been approved by the Supreme Court. He did not give the names of those sentenced or any details of the charges or trial proceedings against them.
He is also reported as saying that a further 45 of those involved in the demonstrations have been sentenced to prison terms and fines based on their "confessions".
Hundreds of people are believed to have been arrested following student demonstrations which began on 8 July 1999, when a group of students gathered outside university hostels in Tehran in a peaceful protest against the closure of the daily newspaper Salam.
Among those who remain in detention are Manuchehr Mohammadi, a leading member of the Anjoman-e Daneshjuyan va Daneshamukhtegan Melli (National Association of Students and Graduates).
In late July 1999, state television broadcast the "confession" of Manuchehr Mohammadi, in which he is reported to have "confessed" to coordinating his activities with a "counter-revolutionary agent", an activity punishable by death in Iran.
The television also named Gholamreza Mohajeri-Nezhad and Maryam Shansi as leading associates of Manuchehr Mohammadi.
Four members of the Hezb-e Mellat-e Iran (Iran Nation Party), Khosrow Sayf, Ahmad Namazi, Farzin Mokhbar and Mehran Mir Abdol-Baghi are also believed to remain in detention following their arrests in connection with the demonstrations.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION:
Please send telegrams/express/airmail letters in English or your own language:
- expressing your grave concern at reports of the death sentences and calling for their immediate commutation;
- expressing concern that those sentenced may have been tortured in order to extract "confessions", and that the sentences may have been passed following unfair trial proceedings;
- seeking information about the identity of all those sentenced as well as details of the charges and trial proceedings against them.
1)Leader of the Islamic Republic
3)Head of Judiciary
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr Mohammad Hassan Zia'i-Far Secretary,
and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY
Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 25 October 1999.
Amnesty International, International Secretariat,