Iran: Three Iranian journalists sentenced

Amnesty International

Bahman Ahmadi Amou'i and Saeed Laylaz have been sentenced to prison terms, Bahman Ahmadi Amou'i also to flogging. Keyvan Samimi Behbehani remains in solitary confinement. All three men are prisoners of conscience. Bahman Ahmadi Amou'i, an editor at the business daily paper Sarmayeh which was closed by the authorities on 2 November, was sentenced to seven years and four months’ imprisonment and 32 lashes on 4 January 2010 by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The sentence includes five years for "colluding with intent to harm national security;" one year for "propaganda against the system;" one year and 32 lashes for "disrupting public security" and four months for "insulting the president." His lawyer is lodging an appeal within the required 20 days and will request his release on bail until the appeal is heard. He is held in Section 350 of Evin Prison.

Saeed Laylaz, also an editor at Sarmayeh, was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran on 2 December 2009 after he was convicted of "attending illegal gatherings" and "possessing classified documents." His lawyer has said that that his client had access to information that had been posted online and therefore not classified information. Saeed Laylaz has been refused bail and remains held in Evin Prison.

The editor of the banned magazine Nameh, Keyvan Samimi Behbehani, was granted 10 days' leave from prison on 9 December in order to attend his daughter's wedding. He has since returned to Evin Prison where he is held in solitary confinement in Section 209.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

  • Calling on the authorities to release Bahman Ahmadi Amou’i, Saeed Laylaz and Keyvan Samimi Behbehani immediately and unconditionally, as they are being detained solely for their peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression;
  • Expressing concern that Bahman Ahmadi Amou’i has been sentenced to flogging, a cruel punishment which amounts to torture, and noting that Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which strictly prohibits torture;
  • Urging the authorities to ensure they are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated, and that reports of torture or other ill-treatment are thoroughly investigated and anyone found responsible is brought to justice in fair proceedings.


Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email:     via website: (English) (Persian)   
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary in Tehran
Mr Ali Reza Avaei
Karimkhan Zand Avenue
Sana’i Avenue, Corner of Alley 17,
No 152
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Dear Mr Avaei

And copies to:
Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
Bureau of International Affairs, Office of the Head of the Judiciary, Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 21 5 537 8827 (please keep trying)

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the third update to UA 171/09 (MDE 13/062/2009). Further information:, and