Amnesty International déplore la condamnation à 20 ans d'emprisonnement de sept membres de la minorité religieuse baha'ie d'Iran, sanction prononcée à la suite d'accusations motivées par des considérations politiques. Ces cinq hommes et deux femmes, membres influents de la communauté baha'ie en Iran, ont été arrêtés il y a plus de deux ans. Ils ont été déclarés coupables samedi 7 août d'« espionnage pour le compte d'Israël », d'« insultes au caractère sacré de la religion » et de « propagande contre le système » par un tribunal révolutionnaire de Téhéran.
Amnesty International has condemned the sentencing of seven members of Iran's Baha’i religious minority to 20 years in jail on a series of politically motivated charges. The five men and two women, leaders of the Baha’i community in Iran who were arrested over two years ago, were convicted on Saturday 7 August of crimes including "espionage for Israel", "insulting religious sanctities" and "propaganda against the system” by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran. This is an update on Iran: Baha’i seven face court and death
The Iranian woman whose sentence to death by stoning sparked an international outcry is feared to be facing imminent execution, after she was put on a state-run TV programme last night where she confessed to adultery and involvement in a murder. Speaking shakily in her native Azeri language, which could be heard through a voiceover, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani told an interviewer that she was an accomplice to the murder of her husband and that she had an extramarital relationship with her husband's cousin. Her lawyer told the Guardian last night that his client, a 43-year-old mother of two, was tortured for two days before the interview was recorded in Tabriz prison, where she has been held for the past four years.
An 18-year-old Iranian is facing imminent execution on charges of homosexuality, even though he has no legal representation. Ebrahim Hamidi, who is not gay, was sentenced to death for lavat, or sodomy, on the basis of "judge's knowledge", a legal loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where there is no conclusive evidence. Hamidi had been represented by human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, who has since been forced to flee Iran after bringing to international attention the case of another of his clients, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old Iranian mother of two who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Mostafaei was due to arrive in Norway yesterday to begin a life in exile while continuing his campaigns on behalf of his clients, including Hamidi.
SKSW and WLUML are still gravely concerned about the fate of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. On 4 August, Branch 9 of the Supreme Court in Iran began a review of Mohammadi Ashtiani's sentence and agreed to consider a judicial review of the case, submitted by her lawyer. The Supreme Court is expected to either accept or reject the judicial review on or around 15 August. The review appears aimed solely at reducing international pressure on the authorities, by deferring a decision on the method of execution and the stoning sentence remains in place.
Since our last update on the case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, and her former attorney Mohammad Mostafaei, there have been a few important developments: Mostafaei, who had fled to Turkey after the arrest of his wife and brother in-law in Tehran, was arrested by the Turkish authorities and placed in a detention centre. He has been released, and is now in Norway seeking asylum. Although the brother in-law was released shortly after his arrest, Mostafaei’s wife, Fereshteh Halimi, continued to be held at Evin prison. However, on Saturday 7 August, Halimi was also released from prison.
The harrowing case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani – a mother of two sentenced to stoning by an Iranian court for adultery – has rightly drawn the world's attention to Iran's draconian penal code, which reserves its cruellest punishments for women. The practice of stoning, in particular, is so abhorrent that even political allies like Brazil have been roused into action. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva offered Ashtiani asylum over the weekend in a direct appeal to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran has yet to respond formally, and a foreign leader can have no direct bearing on a domestic legal proceeding. But the Brazilian intervention sends a powerful message to the Islamic Republic: its human rights record can never be divorced from its nuclear diplomacy.
"I was the lawyer of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and I had the right to defend her," Iranian lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei says of the case that has drawn international attention. Mostafaei was defending Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery when Iranian officials jailed his wife, her brother, and his father-in-law in an apparent attempt to pressure him to back down. In his first interview after fleeing Iran and surfacing in Turkey, Mostafaei talked to RFE/RL's Golnaz Esfandiari, condemning the Iranian judiciary for taking his wife "hostage" and vowing that he will never surrender to Iranian authorities. He also talked about the circumstances under which he was forced to escape Iran and leave his family, including his 7-year-old daughter, behind. (Mostafaei was reportedly taken into custody by Turkish authorities and the UN's refugee agency has said he should be allowed to apply for asylum.)
Mohammad Mostafaie, a human rights defender and lawyer of Sakineh Ashtiani, the woman whose sentence to death by stoning in Iran in June received worldwide public attention, has been arrested and detained by Turkish authorities. On 24 July 2010, his wife, Fereshteh Halimi and brother in law, Farhad Halimi, were arrested and are now detained at the infamous Evin Prison in Tehran. Prior to their arrest, Mostafaie was invited for interrogation and subsequently released by the police but was immediately ordered to be arrested again.
Shiva Nazar-Ahari, a journalist and human rights defender who had already spent 9 months in Evin prison, was scheduled to appear in court on May 23, 2010 on charges of propagation against the regime for her work with the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), as well as allegations of acting against national security because of her participation in gatherings on November 4th and December 7th, 2009. A member of the “One Million Signature” campaign for women’s rights, Nazar-Ahari was arrested at her home shortly after Iran’s June 2009 presidential election. She was released for a short time in September on $200,000 bail, but her freedom did not last long. In December 2009 she was again arrested, this time as she was on the way to attend the funeral ceremony of Ayatollah Hossein Montazeri. Despite consistent pressure from Iranian authorities, she had denied all charges brought against her and had paid the price of defiance by spending most of her prison term in solitary confinement.