The IranianFly to Iran


email us

US Transcom
US Transcom

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

    News & views

IHRWG protests death sentences for detained students

September 22, 1999
Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG)

It is with deep regret to hear that the Islamic Republic's head of The Revolutionary Courts has announced the issuance of death sentences for four students arrested in the July unrest in Tehran University. In an interview with the newspaper 'Jomhuri-ye Eslami' on September 12th, 1999, Hojatoleslam Gholamhossein Rahbarpour, the head of Tehran Revolutionary Court, announced the death sentences against the four and stated that two of the sentences had already been approved by the Supreme Court. He suggested that more death sentences might be expected for more than 700 students arrested in the July uprising. He neither gave the names of those sentenced nor the details of charges against them and trial proceedings.

Press reports and interviews with relatives, attorneys and friends of the arrested students have indicated that no due process of law has been practiced. They have been kept incommunicado since their arrests, and have been "tried" in closed courts in the absence of lawyers. Three of those arrested after the July demonstrations have appeared on state television "confessing" to their involvement with "counter-revolutionary agents", an activity punishable by death in Iran. Any conviction or sentence based on "confessions" under such circumstances would violate Article 11 (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that; "Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial in which he has had all the guarantees for his defense." Historically, such confessions are extracted from detainees by torture, which is widespread in the Islamic Republic and is generally conducted by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence with cooperation of the judicial system. According to international laws and the Islamic Republic's constitution"everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a fair trial. The right not to be compelled to testify against oneself or to confess guilt is fundamental to this presumption of innocence.

We are calling for the immediate commutation of the death sentences that have apparently been issued and approved by the Supreme Court, and the urgent release of the names of the four sentenced and the rest who have been arrested in relation to the July unrest. We further ask for fair re-trial of the four who are sentenced as well as the immediate release of all those held for their peaceful participation in the demonstrations.

It is worth noting that recent events followed debates in the past few weeks on death penalty in Iran which included accusing abolitionists of apostasy, a crime that can be punished by death in the Islamic Republic. In this regard a newspaper has even offered a $33,000 prize for the head of Dr. Hossein Bagher Zadeh - our chair - for stating the group's views on capital punishment in 'Neshat' newspaper in Iran. 'Neshat' was later closed by a judge's order as a result.

Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG) launched a campaign against death penalty in Iran in December of 1997 and has collected hundreds of signatures from Iranian individuals and organizations since then. The list of supporters of this campaign can be viewed at our web site at // .

While Iranian Human Rights Working Group joins all international Human Rights organizations in categorically condemning death penalty, we express our outrage over recent treatment of students and intellectuals. We strongly urge the Iranian government and President Khatami to intervene in this unjust process and to take steps towards implementing the promised reforms in order to bring the country's legislation in line with minimum standards for fair trial laid down in article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party.

Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG)

Send letters to:

Leader of the Islamic Republic:
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency:
Telegrams: Ayatollah Khamenei, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Faxes: 011 98 21 650203
(via Interior Ministry, ask for fax to be forwarded)

Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Mohammad Khatami
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency:
Telegrams: President Khatami, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Faxes: 011 98 21 674790
(via Foreign Affairs, ask for fax to be forwarded)

Head of Judiciary:
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice
Park-e Shahr
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency:
Telegrams: Head of the Judiciary,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran


Minister of Foreign Affairs
His Excellency Kamal Kharrazi
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Avenue
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: 011 98 21 674790

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

In lieu of an embassy:
Iranian Interests Section
2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington DC 20007
Tel: (202) 965-4990 - 5

Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
622 Third Ave. New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 687-2020 / Fax: (212) 867-7086


Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG) is an Internet-based community of individuals committed to campaigning for the improvement of human rights in Iran. The group's aims and objectives are contained in its Charter which also sets out the structure of the group and the domain of its activities. The group has no political agenda, and makes no judgment on the legitimacy of the authorities in dealing with them, nor does it take the religious or political beliefs or personal attributes of individuals into consideration when it defends their human rights.

The group's Charter specifies its Aims and Objectives as follows:

To discuss, inform, educate and campaign for the improvement of human rights in Iran and of Iranians abroad by all lawful means possible. In its activities, the group will campaign for the human rights of individuals regardless of their religious or political affiliations or personal attributes. The group recognizes and adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as its basic definition of human rights. From time to time the group may also stipulate and adopt other specific rights which are not in conflict with articles of the UDHR. The main means of communication will be electronic.

The group's membership is open to all individuals who BELIEVE in human right values as stipulated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ACCEPT the group's Charter, and COMMIT themselves to take part in the campaign for human rights in an atmosphere of mutual trust. The group is run by an eight-member Steering Committee elected from amongst the membership for a term of two years.

If you like to get more information, including the text of the group's Charter, please send a message to : ihrwg-info@Tehran.Stanford.EDU or see our web pages at: //

If you want to contact the group, get more information about the group, send information about individual cases of human right abuses, or make general comments, please send your message to:


Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG)

Disclaimer: "IHRWG is not affiliated with Stanford University, and the opinions expressed herein do not neccesarily represent those of Stanford University, nor do they imply any obligations on the part of the university."


Copyright © Abadan Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved. May not be duplicated or distributed in any form

 MIS Internet Services

Web Site Design by
Multimedia Internet Services, Inc

 GPG Internet server

Internet server by
Global Publishing Group.