PUBLIC                                                                                                          AI Index: MDE 13/106/2007        

                                                                                                                                        23 August 2007

 

Further Information on UA 137/07 (MDE 13/068/2007, 7 June 2007) Fear of torture or ill-treatment/ Possible prisoner of conscience

 

IRAN                               Sa'id Metinpour (m), journalist, Azerbaijani cultural rights activist

Sa’id Metinpour is now known to be held in Section 209 of Evin prison in Tehran, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence. He has reportedly been tortured, apparently to try to force him to make a videotaped “confession”. He is believed to be held mainly in solitary confinement. According to other detainees, his health is poor as a result of the treatment he has suffered.

He was arrested on 25 May in the north-western city of Zenjan. Amnesty International believes that he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely on account of his peaceful activities on behalf of the Iranian Azerbaijani community. He has not been allowed to meet his family or his lawyer, and his sole contact with the outside world has been a few extremely brief telephone calls to his family.

Prior his arrest in May, Sa’id Metinpour had been detained in February 2007 and held for 10 days in connection with his participation in peaceful demonstrations marking International Mother Language Day, an annual event initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on 21 February.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Iranian Azerbaijanis demonstrated throughout May 2007 to mark the first anniversary of protests during which the security forces reportedly killed up to 19 people and arrested hundreds. The May 2006 protests were organised against the publication in a national newspaper of a cartoon which was offensive to many Iranian Azerbaijanis.

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

- expressing concern at reports that Sa’id Metinpour has been tortured;

- calling on the authorities to order an immediate investigation into the reports that Sa’id Metinpour has been tortured, and for anyone found responsible for abuses to be brought to justice;

- calling on the authorities to allow Sa’id Metinpour immediate and regular access to his family and a lawyer of his choice, and to any medical treatment he may require.

- calling on the authorities to release Sa’id Metinpour immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely on account of his peaceful activities on behalf of the Iranian Azerbaijani community;

APPEALS TO:

Leader of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email:           info@leader.ir

Salutation:    Your Excellency

Minister of Intelligence

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Salutation:       Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax:               +98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying)

Email:           info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)

Salutation:    Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

President

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

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

Email:           dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir

                     via website: www.president.ir/email

Salutation:    Your Excellency

Speaker of Parliament

His Excellency Gholamali Haddad Adel

Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami, Baharestan Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax:               +98 21 3355 6408

Email:           hadadadel@majlis.ir

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 October 2007.

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