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AI Index: MDE 13/071/2006        

23 June 2006

Further Information on UA 171/06 (MDE 13/067/2006, 16 June 2006 Fear for safety/ Health concern/ Possible prisoner of conscience

IRAN                   Saleh Kamrani(m), lawyer and human rights defender, aged about 34

Azeri Turkish lawyer Saleh Kamrani is reportedly held without charge in Evin Prison in Tehran. In an interview on 19 June 2006 on Araz Radio, broadcasting from Sweden, Saleh Kamrani’s wife, Mina Esgeri, said that she had been allowed to meet with her husband in detention on 18 June. He reportedly needs medication for a heart condition. He may be held solely for his work as a lawyer and human rights defender, in which case Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience.

Saleh Kamrani had reportedly called his wife at their house in Tehran at around 3pm on 14 June to say that he was on his way home. He should have arrived by 4.30 or 5pm, and when he did not she tried to call him, but found his mobile phone switched off, which was unusual for him. She called all the hospitals and police stations in Tehran but did not find any trace of him. In the evening, she called Ministry of Intelligence officials who at that time reportedly refused to confirm whether they were holding her husband.

Saleh Kamrani has practised as a lawyer since 1999 and has defended a number of Iranian Azeri Turks (who sometimes refer to themselves as Iranian Azerbaijanis) who have been detained in connection with their political or cultural activities. One of his clients, activist Saleh Malla Abbasi was arrested on 17 April (see UA 115/06, MDE 13/045/2006, 3 May 2006). Saleh Kamrani has also defended members of other ethnic groups. He has reportedly suffered harassment at the hands of the Iranian security forces, including phone calls threatening him with arrest and in 2005 was detained for three days with his brother in the town of Oromieh. He has also reportedly written articles on human rights and has helped to organise training in human rights for lawyers and students. Saleh Kamrani's brother, Maharam Kamrani, was arrested on 30 March, and reportedly tortured during his 19 days in detention (see UA 86/06, MDE 13/039/2006, 12 April 2006).

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

In May 2006, massive demonstrations took place in towns and cities in north-western Iran, where the majority of the population is Azeri Turkish, in protest at a cartoon published on 12 May by the state-owned daily newspaper Iran which many Azeri Turks found offensive. Hundreds were arrested during or following the demonstrations (see UA 151/06, MDE 13/055/2006, 26 May 2006 and UA 163/06, MDE 13/063/2006, 8 June 2006). Some of those detained have allegedly been tortured, with some requiring hospital treatment.  Publication of the newspaper was suspended on 23 May and the editor-in-chief and the cartoonist were arrested. Azeri sources have claimed that dozens were killed and hundreds injured by the security forces. The security forces have generally denied that anyone was killed, although on 29 May a police official acknowledged that four people had been killed and 43 injured in the town of Naqada.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

- expressing concern that Saleh Kamrani may have been detained solely in connection with his work as a lawyer and human rights defender;

- calling on the authorities to ensure that he is not tortured or ill-treated, and to allow him immediate access to a lawyer of his own choosing, and to any medical treatment he may require;

- calling on the authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally unless he is to be promptly charged with a recognizably criminal offence and given a prompt and fair trial.

APPEALS TO:

Leader of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax:                  + 98 251 774 2228 (mark "FAO the Office of His Excellency, Ayatollah al Udhma Khamenei")

Email:              info@leader.ir

                        istiftaa@wilayah.org

Salutation:       Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email:              Please send emails via the feedback form on the Persian site of the website

                        http://www.iranjudiciary.org/contactus-feedback-fa.html

                        The text of the feedback form translates as:

                        1st line: name, 2nd line: email address, 3rd line: subject heading

                        then enter your email into the text box

Salutation:       Your Excellency

Minister of Intelligence

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street

Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email:              iranprobe@iranprobe.com

Salutation:       Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

President

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax:               + 98 21 6 649 5880

Email:           dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir

                     via website: www.president.ir/email

Speaker of Parliament

Gholamali Haddad Adel, Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami (Parliament)

Imam Khomeini Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax:                  + 98 21 6 646 1746

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 4 August 2006.

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