Iran: Ms Shiva Nazarahari and six other human rights defenders at risk

Frontline Defenders

Human rights defender Ms Shiva Nazarahari and six other members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), Mr Kouhyar Goudarzi, Mr Saeed Kalanaki, Mr Mehrdad Rahimi, Ms Parisa Kakaie, Mr Saeed Haeri and Mr Saeed Jalalifar are being pressurized to falsely confess that the CHRR is affiliated with the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO). Affiliation with the MKO is considered a very serious crime in Iran which carries a possible sentence of execution. Front Line previously sent an appeal in relation to Shiva Nazarahari on 23 June 2009 and in relation to Parisa Kakaie on 5 November 2009.

Further Information

On 20 December 2009, Shiva Nazarahari was arrested when the bus she was travelling on was stopped by security forces in Enqelab Square in Tehran. At the time of her arrest she was on her way to Qom to attend the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. Following the arrest, Shiva Nazarahari went on dry hunger strike. On 1 January 2010, she was transferred to the health clinic of Evin prison’s ward 209 where she was reportedly warned that she would be executed if she continued her hunger strike. It is believed that she and the six other members of the CHRR are under pressure to falsely confess to their organization's affiliation with the MKO. Previously, during a meeting with Shiva Nazarahari’s family, the Tehran Prosecutor reportedly said that the CHRR is “associated with MKO.”

On 14 June 2009, Shiva Nazarahari was previously arrested at her home in Tehran. She was released on bail after one hundred days in detention and currently awaits trial. Prior to that, she was arrested in August 2004 while at a gathering of political prisoners’ families in front of the United Nations building. On that occasion she was sentenced to a one-year suspended prison term.

Front Line is deeply concerned by the targeting of human rights defenders in Iran, including Shiva Nazarahari, Kouhyar Goudarzi, Saeed Kalanaki, Mehrdad Rahimi, Parisa Kakaie, Saeed Haeri, and Saeed Jalalifar, and believes that the arrests of the aforementioned human rights defenders are directly related to their peaceful and legitimate activities in defence of human rights.