Defend Maryam Ghorbanzadeh

After being savagely beaten up in Tabriz prison, Maryam sadly miscarried. This simply worsens her situation and makes the matter all the more of an emergency. Please sign this petition for not only her, but also Azar Bagheri, another young woman iin a similar situation.

Maryam is in the same prison as Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, aged 25. The world must show the Iranian government that they are watching their every action and that their death sentences will not go unnoticed.

Also join Facebook page to support them.

The Islamic regime has tortured Sajjad and Houtan

PR 82
27 October 2010
Houtan and the two German journalists have been transferred to Tabriz prison

According to information obtained by the International Committees against stoning and executions, Sajjad, the son of Sakineh and Houtan Kian, her lawyer, are subjected to pressure and severe torture in a prison of Tabriz.

According to our sources, Houtan and the two German journalists, who at the time of arrest, interviewed the son of Sakineh, were transferred to Tabriz prison on Tuesday October 26, 16 days after their arrest. The whereabouts of Sajjad remain unknown.

Our sources suggest that Sajjad, particularly during its first days of detention, was severely tortured, and that Houtan was harassed and beaten. The interrogations of Sajjad and Houtan have mainly been about their contacts with foreign media networks and the Campaign to Save Sakineh.

The International Committees against Execution and Stoning call upon all international humanitarian institutions, organizations, and people who have participated in the Campaign to Save Sakineh to condemn the Islamic regime for savagery and crime against these innocent people, and ask that they intensify their activities to free Sakineh, Sajjad, Houtan and the two German journalists.

Sajjad and Houtan’s only crime is their selfless attempt to save Sakineh’s life, this innocent woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning under medieval Islamic laws, who has suffered humiliation and 198 strokes of the lash. The two German journalists, held also in violation of all international laws, have done nothing but having met two Iranian citizens, Sajjad and Houtan, to write a report about real situation of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Sakineh and all four of those arrested [on October 10] must be released immediately and unconditionally.

The International Committees against Execution and Stoning finally call on all international institutions, organizations and people worldwide to actively participate in the campaign to free Sakineh and the other four.

International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning
For more information contact: [email protected]
0049 (0) 177 569 2413

In support of Iranian refugees in Greece

Complaint by the International Federation of Iranian Refugees lodged with the European Court of Human Rights against the Greek government for its violation of refugees’ rights

I submit this complaint on behalf of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) against the Greek government for its violation of the refugees’ rights in the country.

A sizeable number of Iranian refugee seekers, i.e., escapees from fear of imprisonment, torture and execution, have started a sit-in in front of the UN office in Athens which still continues after 40 days. In a prior protest action a different number of them had initiated a sit-in, which led, in consequence of the irresponsible response of the Greek’s government, to their going on hunger strike and sewing their lips in protest.

Now, after forty-odd days of their second sit-in, the Greek government still refuses to accept any of the refugee’s demands. Indeed, it has basically refused to respond to their demands in any way, except by, once in a while, ordering its police force to raid their sit-in site, beat them and trash their belongings. As a result the protesting refugees began a hunger strike on Thursday, October 14, and eight of them sewed their lips. According to the latest news as of October 21 eleven individuals, out of the total of twenty-five striking refugees, have sewn their lips.

The ghastly scenes of the refugees sewing their lips, reported on the internet and in the media, make one’s hair stand on end. These scenes are transpiring in Greece, a member country of the European Union. This country has, evidently, no defined standards as far as reviewing the refugee applicants’ cases and/or meeting even their most basic, dire needs. Still worse, it has, unfortunately, become renowned for its encroachments on their human rights as refugees and mistreating them.

These refugees have come to Greece seeking protection from a country by the name of Iran – a country suffering under a criminal Islamist regime which has, for the past 31 years, ruled by the horrific rules belonging to a barbaric era. Relying on these ‘holy’ rules it has committed a whole catalogue of medieval crimes against the dissenters, the accused individuals, the youth, the women, the workers, the intellectuals, in short, against the whole society – a catalogue extending from flogging to imprisonment, amputation of the limbs, torture, rape, execution, lynching, assassination and stoning. Thanks to the on-going Iranian people’s movement for freedom, as well as the ridiculous lies of the heads of the Islamic Republic about their oppression of the people in Iran, its true murderous nature has become common knowledge around the world. The Iranian refugees in Turkey, Greece and other countries have escaped such conditions, that is, the 31-year long war of the regime against the nation. They should, therefore, be accepted as refugees with open arms and the least ‘investigations’, and their safety and security be guaranteed in accordance with the 1951 Refugee Convention, ‘the Legislation that Underpins our Work’ (UNHCR, http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49da0e466.html).

To reiterate, the nature of the Iranian regime is clear to the people around the world. What remains to be explained is the irresponsive, and therefore irresponsible, policy adopted by the Greek government vis-à-vis their plight. The silence of the Greek government has, in practice, amounted to ignoring the very human rights the EU is committed to. Are the refugees not human to deserve the protection of the Charter of Human Rights? The Greek government ignores the refugees, their needs and their demands as if it is not part of the EU and does not have to abide by its obligations thereof. The Greek government has simply closed its eyes to the reality of what transpires in Iran. That is the chief reason why it refuses to acknowledge their needs and pay them what they are legally entitled to. Indeed, it essentially refuses to consider them human.

It is reported that refugees, the sick and the healthy, the smoker and non-smoker, are detained in overcrowded salons at decaying old detention centers. These locales have nothing in common with modern facilities, especially in Europe, and are totally unhygienic, unwholesome environments. The intolerable conditions of detention centers have brought the refugees to the verge of insanity. Those who have been released from them have reported that they had been not only languishing in unhealthy, squalid and deadly dull conditions but also from time to time severely assaulted by the police.

It must be emphasized that during its 22 years of its existence the IFIR has relentlessly defended the refugees from a progressive perspective as humans sans phrase, independent of their faith, political affiliation, race, ethnicity and gender. By the same token it has never encouraged such forms of protest as hunger strike or lip-sewing. However, it is the Greek government and the inhuman atmosphere it has created for the refugees that has forced those innocent human beings into self-harm. This Greek government’s treatment of the refugee seekers violates all universal charters and conventions established to protect humans and, specifically, the refugees. It should therefore be condemned as such and stopped immediately. Why should, especially in a European country, the escapees from hells like Iran and Afghanistan be driven to sewing their lips in a battle to defend just their natural right to life?! The refugees in Greece are rotting away in constant fear of not having any stay permit, job, housing, health services, and so on. There is no responsible office or authority to deal with their plight or protest and give them what is rightfully theirs. In short, they have been pushed into the abyss of despair, which spawns only depression, chronic anxiety, and a whole host of other socio-psychological symptoms.

In view of the above the IFIR would like to lodge this complaint with the European Court of Human Rights against the Greek government for its gross violation of both the Geneva Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Abdollah Asadi
Secretary,
IFIR
October 23, 2010

CC Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch

Resolution on boycotting the Islamic regime of Iran

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has become an international cause celebre. World public opinion has been outraged at her sentence of death by stoning for adultery and the heinous torture and mistreatment she has faced over the past five years.

Her case has brought focus on the repressive Islamic regime of Iran, its medieval judicial system based on Sharia, and its brutal treatment of women in particular. This is a regime that still stones people to death in the 21st century with its law specifying the size of the stone to be used. And it shows no leniency – even arresting her 22 year old son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, and lawyer, Houtan Kian, along with two journalists covering her case on 10 October 2010.

Whilst reiterating our demand that the four along with Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani be immediately and unconditionally released, we find it high time that the Islamic regime of Iran is unequivocally condemned. It is time for governments and institutions to boycott the regime, shut down its embassies and offices, and prosecute its high-ranking officials.

The public outcry regarding Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has become humanity’s cry vis-à-vis this era’s barbarity. Today, her case in specific and stoning in general have become the apartheid of our era – intolerable and unacceptable.

Clearly, a regime that still stones people to death in this day and age must face diplomatic isolation as did the apartheid regime of South Africa. Moreover, stoning must be deemed a crime against humanity. This has to be the beginning of the end.

Mina Ahadi is founder and Spokesperson of the International Committee against Stoning and International Committee against Execution. She was the National Secular Society’s 2007 Secularist of the Year award winner. She was also selected as one of Elle Quebec’s top 45 women of the year 2007. Her biography, “I have renounced religion,” has been published in 2008 in Germany by Heyne Publishing House. (Germany)

Richard Dawkins is an author and scientist. He has won a number of prizes, including the Sci-Tech Prize for the Best Science Programme of 1987, the 1989 Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, the 1990 Royal Society Michael Faraday Award for the furtherance of the public understanding of science, the 1994 Nakayama Prize for Human Science, the 1997 (Fifth) International Cosmos Prize in Commemoration of Expo’ 90 (UK)

Sonja Eggerickx is President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) and the Federation of Flemish Humanist Organisations in Belgium (UVV) and Coordinator of the IHEU’s Women’s Network. Professionally, she is a Senior Schools Inspector in Moral Education (Belgium)

A. C. Grayling is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. He has written and edited many books. He is the Editor of Online Review London and Contributing Editor of Prospect magazine. He sits on the editorial boards of several academic journals, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Royal Society of Arts, and was a Booker Prize judge in 2003 (UK)

Harold Kroto has been knighted in 1996 for his contributions to chemistry and received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the discovery of C60 Buckminsterfullerene, a new form of carbon that year, together with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley of Rice University, Houston, Texas (USA)

Maryam Namazie is a human rights activist, writer, commentator and broadcaster. She is Spokesperson of Iran Solidarity, One Law for All Britain and Equal Rights Now amongst others. She is also the National Secular Society’s 2005 Secularist of the Year award winner and an NSS Honorary Associate. Maryam was selected one of Elle Quebec’s top 45 women of the year in 2007 and her blog rated top 100 athiest blogs (UK)

Taslima Nasrin is a physician, human rights activist and award-winning Bangladeshi author of several banned books. She is winner of a number of awards, including the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the Feminist of the Year Award, Free-thought Heroine Award, UNESCO Prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence, Grand Prix International Condorcet-Aron 2005, and the Simone de Beauvoir prize (India)

Daniel Salvatore Schiffer is a philosopher, writer and promoter of the “Open Letter to the Iranian Authorities” in support of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. This appeal has been signed by 150,000 people including renowned French and Italian intellectuals and 7 Nobel Prize winners (Belgium)

Terry Sanderson is a journalist, writer and President of the National Secular Society. He is the author of nine books and has written extensively for the national press. His popular column in Gay Times has been appearing continuously for 25 years – the longest-running column ever in the gay press (UK)

Michael Schmidt-Salomon is a philosopher and Spokesperson of Giordano Bruno Foundation. His books include the Manifesto of Evolutionary Humanism: A Plea for a Contemporary Culture and The Church in the Head (Germany)

Annie Sugier founded the “Ligue du droit international des femmes” with Simone de Beauvoir in 1983. Her professional background is scientific. She is officer of the Legion d’Honneur and has published several books, including “Histoires du MLF” (France)

Michèle Vianès is the founder and President of Regards de Femmes, Vice President of the French Coalition of the European Women’s Lobby, and patron of Ni putes ni soumises (France)

Open letter to Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council

Dear Mr. President,

As we all know, the situation of women in some countries is abysmal. This is the case in countries under Islamic rule such as Afghanistan, Iran, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, in which stoning to death (lapidation) for adultery is still being implemented. In Iran, there is the well known case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani who is awaiting death by stoning for adultery. Fortunately, the decision for this ‘execution by torture’ has been postponed as a result of the worldwide protests against it.

In the meantime, Ms Ashtiani’s son, Mr. Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, and lawyer, Mr. Houtan Kian, have been arrested along with a German journalist and photographer in Tabriz (Iran) on 10 October 2010 at 19.00 hours local time. The security forces raided the lawyer’s office where an interview was taking place and arrested all four.

Their whereabouts are currently unknown and no news has been received of their situation since the arrests. It is known they were arrested given that, at the time of the raid, one of the journalists was on the phone speaking with Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of the International Committee against Stoning and International Committee against Execution. The Islamic regime has confirmed the arrest of the two journalists. So we are very worried, as is quite normal in such cases! We know that the European Union has already condemned Ms. Ashtiani’s death sentence by stoning. In September 2010, the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said in his first State of the Union address to parliament that he is “appalled” by the news of the sentencing, and called it “barbaric beyond words.” True words indeed but Ms. Ashtiani’s life still hangs in the balance.

Therefore, we would like to ask you, Mr. Van Rompuy, as President of the European Council, to request a firm European statement in which all the 27 member states call for the immediate release of the four people mentioned above and Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and for an end to the barbaric practice of stoning immediately.

Yours sincerely,

Marieke Höfte, President of the Humanistisch-Vrijzinnige Vereniging (Belgium)
Sonja Eggerickx, President of the Unie Vrijzinnige Verenigingen (Belgium)
Jacinta De Roeck, Director of the Humanistisch-Vrijzinnige Vereniging (Belgium)
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of Iran Solidarity and One Law for All (UK)
Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of the International Committee against Stoning and International Committee against Execution (Germany)

Antwerp, Belgium, 22/10/10

Open brief aan dhr. Herman Van Rompuy, Voorzitter van de Europese Raad

Geachte Mijnheer de Voorzitter,

Zoals wij allemaal weten is de situatie van vrouwen in sommige landen van de wereld afgrijselijk slecht. Dit is het geval in bepaalde landen onder islamitisch regime zoals Afghanistan, Iran, Nigeria en Saoedi-Arabië, waar steniging, als doodstraf, nog steeds wordt uitgevoerd. In de Islamitische Republiek van Iran is er het gekende geval van mevr. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, die van overspel beschuldigd werd en nog haar doodsvonnis tot steniging kan verwachten. Als gevolg van het wereldwijde protest daartegen werd de beslissing voor deze ‘executie door foltering’ gelukkig uitgesteld.
Ondertussen echter werden op 10 oktober 2010 lokale tijd in Tabriz (Iran) Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, de zoon van mevr. Ashtiani, en Houtan Kian, haar advocaat, samen met een Duitse journalist en een fotograaf gearresteerd. De veiligheidsdienst bestormde het kantoor van de advocaat, waar net een interview werd afgenomen. De agenten arresteerden de vier personen.
Sindsdien weten we niet waar de vier zich momenteel bevinden. We hebben sinds hun arrestatie geen nieuws meer van hen ontvangen. Het staat vast dat ze werden gearresteerd omdat een van de journalisten op het moment van de inval aan het bellen was met Mina Ahadi, woordvoerster van het International Committee against Stoning en International Committee against Execution. Ondertussen zijn deze vier mensen nog niet naar huis of naar hun hotel teruggekeerd; het Islamitisch regime heeft de arrestatie van de twee journalisten bevestigd.
Dat maakt ons dus bijzonder ongerust, wat normaal is in dit soort gevallen! We weten dat de Europese Gemeenschap reeds de doodstraf door steniging van mevr. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani heeft veroordeeld. In zijn eerste Verklaring aan het Parlement in september 2010 heeft dhr. José Manuel Barroso, Voorzitter van de Europese Commissie, gezegd dat hij “geschokt” was toen hij het nieuws van de veroordeling vernam. Hij noemde heel de zaak een “barbarij waar geen woorden meer voor zijn”. Mooi en juist gezegd, maar ondertussen hangt het leven van mevr. Ashtiani aan een zijden draadje.
Daarom zouden wij u willen vragen, geachte heer Van Rompuy, om als Voorzitter van de Europese Raad mee te helpen pleiten voor een stevig Europees standpunt waarbij alle 27 lidstaten oproepen tot de onmiddellijke vrijlating van de vier vermelde personen, samen met mevr. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, en de onmiddellijke stopzetting van de barbaarse praktijk van steniging.

Hoogachtend,

Marieke Höfte, Voorzitter van de Humanistisch-Vrijzinnige Vereniging (Belgium)
Sonja Eggerickx, Voorzitter van de Unie Vrijzinnige Verenigingen (Belgium)
Jacinta De Roeck, Directeur van de Humanistisch-Vrijzinnige Vereniging (Belgium)
Maryam Namazie, Woordvoerster van de One Law for All Campaign against Sharia (UK)
Mina Ahadi, Woordvoerster van het International Committee against Stoning en International Committee against Execution (Germany)

Antwerpen, België, 22/10/10

Facebook: Is this to be the norm?

I just wrote this email to Facebook, which has again blocked links in my letter from One Law for All:

I am told that a link to a letter from our organisation – One Law for All-to the British government has been deemed abusive and therefore been blocked. This is bordering on the ridiculous.

The letter is asking the British government for clarification on the law. You can see it here.

Also my post to members of the One Law for All group, can be seen here.

There is nothing abusive in this letter and link nor in any other link that you have blocked – most recently with regards the Iran stoning case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Maybe you should start considering the intentions of those ‘complaining’ about my posts rather than focusing all your attention on and blocking my legitimate human rights campaigning work.

I do hope to receive an apology as this has happened once too many times. Also I would like clarification on whether this will be the norm given that it has been lately happening at least once a week.

I look forward to your response.

Maryam

An Update on One Law for All Campaign

One Law for All is organising some exciting events in the coming months; we hope you can join us.

PASSION FOR FREEDOM ART EXHIBITION 20-27 NOVEMBER 2010
WITH PRIVATE VIEWING ON SATURDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2010

One Law for All is pleased to present an art exhibition in London during 20-27 November 2010 in which a group of international artists address the controversial subject of religion and human rights. The exhibition includes pieces on the veil, female genital mutilation, child ‘marriage’ and women’s oppression.

You are invited to a private viewing on 20 November 2010 from 18.30-21.30 hours. If you are able to attend opening night, please RSVP as soon as possible.

The opening and exhibition will be held at UNIT 24 Gallery, 24 Great Guildford Street, London SE1 0FD. Our panel of judges author Polly Toynbee, singer Deeyah and secularist Terry Sanderson will select their favourite pieces for special mention at the private viewing.

You can find out more about the art exhibition and artists here.

To RSVP your attendance at opening night, please send your name and telephone number to [email protected] The exhibition will be open to the public 21-27 November.

SATURDAY 11 DECEMBER 2010 CONFERENCE ON APOSTASY, SHARIA LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS

To mark International Human Rights Day, we are co-sponsoring an all day conference on Apostasy, Sharia Law and Human Rights at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London. Conference registration begins at 10.00am for 11.00am start and ends at 19.00 hours, after which there will be a social gathering at a local pub. Panel discussions include ‘International Apostasy and Religion,’ ‘Ex-Muslims in Britain and Europe’ and ‘Multiculturalism and Multifaithism versus Universal Human Rights.’ There will also be a play ‘Masculine Laws’ by Ghazi Rabihavi and a comedy act by Nick Doody. Confirmed speakers include Mina Ahadi, Tarek Fatah, Rumy Hassan, Marieme Helie Lucas, Maryam Namazie, Hassan Radwan, Gita Sahgal, Hamed Abdol Samad, Terry Sanderson, Alom Shaha, Bahram Soroush, Peter Tatchell, and Anne Marie Waters,

To book a place at the conference, please complete the booking form found here.

Tickets are £10 for individuals; £25 for organisations and statutory bodies.

The conference is sponsored by Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Iran Solidarity, National Secular Society, One Law for All and South Place Ethical Society.

WEDNESDAY 26 JANUARY 2011 ENEMIES NOT ALLIES SEMINAR

Please also hold the date for a seminar at Conway Hall from 18.30-20.30 hours on ‘Enemies not Allies.’ The seminar will discuss ‘left wing’ organisations which have taken the side of or failed to condemn Islamists in political discourse, including Unite Against Fascism and The Respect Party as well as racist and far Right groups such as the English Defence League and Stop Islamisation of Europe which are using concern over Sharia law to promote their racist and anti-immigrant agenda. The seminar will coincide with the publication of a report on the same issue. More information on this seminar will be posted on our website soon.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Co-Spokesperson Anne Marie Waters has just written a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke, and Attorney General Dominic Grieve asking for an urgent clarification of law and urging equal rights for all. You can read the letter here.

One Law for All has also just published a ‘Know your Rights Leaflet’ and an extensive list of resources on Sharia law.

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

If you haven’t already please support us in any way you can. Join us at any or all of our events or volunteer your skills and time. Sign our petition and encourage others to do so. So far over 26,700 people and organisations have signed up to our call for an end to religious laws. You can find the petition here. Most importantly, please donate to the crucial work of our organisation if you can. We urgently need regular support that we can rely on and are asking for 100 donors to commit to at least £5-10 a month via direct debit. Details on the 100 Club can be found here. This is particularly important given that many of our requests for funding to foundations have been denied due to the controversial nature of our work. No amount is too small – all of it counts and helps us in our work!

We have only managed to come this far because of your support but we need a lot more in order to do all that needs to be done to get rid of Sharia and religious laws and strengthen secularism.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you.

Warm wishes

Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX
[email protected]
www.onelawforall.org.uk

PS For an urgent update on the Iran stoning case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, please visit the site of the International Committee Against Stoning. The latest news is that Ms Ashtiani’s 22 year old son and lawyer have been arrested since 10 October along with two journalists. We are working with the ICAS to secure their release and the release of Ms Ashtiani and stop stoning and execution. Join us in this important task.

Sakineh’s son and lawyer to appear in court on 19 October

PR 81
18 October 2010

ICAS and ICAE has received news that at least two of the four people arrested last Sunday 10 October in Tabriz, Iran are due to appear in court tomorrow, Tuesday 19 October 2010. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s 22 year old son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, and her lawyer, Houtan Kian, were with two German journalists when the Islamic regime’s forces raided the house and arrested all four. Only the arrests of the two journalists have been confirmed officially and there is no information on the well being of the four men. They are being held in a secret prison unit in Tabriz and have been interrogated over the last week. According to our information they have been interrogated about their contact with foreign media and it is particularly Sajjad Ghaderzadeh who has been put under extensive pressure.

We condemn the arrests and demand the immediate release of Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, Houtan Kian and the two German journalists as well as Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

International Committee against Stoning
International Committee against Execution
18 October 2010

For more information contact:
Spokesperson Mina Ahadi
[email protected]
0049 1775692413

16 October Day of Action

There will be actions in number of cities worldwide calling for the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son and lawyer who were arrested along with two German journalists on 10 October 2010. The actions will also call for Ms Ashtiani’s release and an end to stoning and execution. Some actions can be seen here.

The action follows an open letter signed by hundreds calling for the same.

Urgent Action: Sakineh’s son and lawyer have been arrested

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, and lawyer, Houtan Kian, were arrested along with a German journalist and photographer in Tabriz on 10 October 2010 at 1900 hours local time. The security forces raided the lawyer’s office where an interview was taking place and arrested all four.

Their whereabouts are currently unknown and no news has been received of their situation since the arrests. It is known they were arrested given that at the time of the raid, one of the journalists was on the phone speaking with Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of the International Committee against Stoning and International Committee against Execution. The four have not returned home or to their hotels since; the Islamic regime has confirmed the arrest of the two journalists.

We, the undersigned, unequivocally condemn the Islamic Republic of Iran for the arrests and call for the immediate release of the four. We also demand the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and an end to stoning and execution.

To see a list of the 80 signatories to the letter, click here.

PLEASE ACT NOW!

1. Sign on to the above letter by adding your name, profession, organisation if any and country to the comments section.

2. Organise rallies or actions preferably on Saturday 16 October 2010. Demand the release of all four as well as Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and call for an end to execution and stoning. Send your events to [email protected] to be listed here. You can also do an act of solidarity wherever you are – organise a flash mob with your friends, hold a placard in your neighbourhood, sing a song, or stand in silence next to a pile of stones on the day. Send in written or video messages for our site as well as videos and photos of your acts or events to [email protected]

3. Send letters of protest to the Islamic regime of Iran using the above open letter as a sample. Protest letters can be addressed to the below:

Head of the Judiciary
Sadeqh Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Email: [email protected] or via website
First starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address

Head of the Judiciary in East Azerbaijan Province
Malek-Ashtar Sharifi
Office of the Head of the Judiciary in Tabriz
East Azerbaijan, Iran

Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Iran
Email: via website (English)
(Persian)

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986
Email: [email protected]

4- Write to government officials, heads of state, MEPs and MPs in your country of residence and the UN calling on them to intervene to demand their release and to cease recognition of a regime that stones people to death in the 21st century.

5- Donate to the Save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani campaign by making your cheque payable to ‘Count Me In – Iran’ and sending it to BM Box 6754, London WC1N 3XX, UK. You can also pay via Paypal. We also are looking for volunteers to help with design, graphics, fundraising, and outreach so please contact us if you can help at [email protected]

6- For more information, contact:
Mina Ahadi, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions, [email protected], 0049 1775692413.
Maryam Namazie, Iran Solidarity, [email protected], 0044 7719166731, Iran Solidarity , Blog.
Maria Rohaly, Mission Free Iran, [email protected]

Open Letter demanding the release of Sakineh, her son, lawyer and two journalists

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, and lawyer, Houtan Kian, were arrested along with a German journalist and photographer in Tabriz on 10 October 2010 at 1900 hours local time. The security forces raided the lawyer’s office where an interview was taking place and arrested all four.

Their whereabouts are currently unknown and no news has been received of their situation since the arrests. It is known they were arrested given that at the time of the raid, one of the journalists was on the phone speaking with Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of the International Committee against Stoning and International Committee against Execution. The four have not returned home or to their hotels since; the Islamic regime has confirmed the arrest of the two journalists.

We, the undersigned, unequivocally condemn the Islamic Republic of Iran for the arrests and call for the immediate release of the four. We also demand the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and an end to stoning and execution.

Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson, International Committee against Stoning and International Committee against Execution, Germany
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, Iran Solidarity and One Law for All, UK
A C Grayling, Writer and Philosopher, UK
Alfred Breitman, Writer, EveryOne Group, Italy
Angela Payne, HQ Coordinator, Anti-Injustice Movement, UK
Anne Zelensky, Présidente, La Ligue du Droit des Femmes, France
Anne-marie Lizin, Senate Honorary Speaker, Association of the Wallonia Women Council, and Coordinator of HOCRINT, International Association against Honour Crimes, Belgium
Annie Sugier, President, Ligue du Droit International des Femmes, France
Åsa Dahlström Heuser, Campaigner, Belgium
Bernice Dubois, Coordination Française pour le Lobby Européen des Femmes, France
Catherine Auberger, Human Rights Campaigner, France
Catherine Deudon, Photographer, France
Chantal Crabère, Campaigner, France
Christiane Labarre, Women’s Rights Campaigner, Belgium
Christiane Mauchauffée, Women’s Rights Campaigner, France
Daniel Lardy, Primary School Teacher, France
Daniel Salvatore Schiffer, Philosopher, Writer, Promoter of the “Open Letter to the Iranian Authorities” to support Sakineh, Belgium
Daphné Pavia, Regards de Femmes, France
Dario Picciau, Director, EveryOne Group, Italy
David Pollock, President, European Humanist Federation, UK
Dennis Penaluna, President, Nottingham Secular Society, UK
Dominique Peignoux, Regards de Femmes Ile de France, Vice President, Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneurm, France
Ed Buckner, Board Member, American Atheists, USA
Eli Vieira, President, Secular Humanist League of Brazil, Brazil
Elizabeth Sidney, OBE, Chair, Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom and Equality, UK
Eloise Power, Doughty Street Chambers, UK
Fabio Patronelli, Artist, EveryOne Group, Italy
Francis FitzGibbon QC, Doughty Street Chambers, UK
G. R. Joly, Women’s Rights Campaigner, France
Georges Delpech, Campaigner, France
Ghulam Mustafa Lakho, Advocate High Court of Sindh, Pakistan
Giti Thadani, Writer and Filmmaker, India
Glenys Robinson, Writer, EveryOne Group, Italy
Gudrun Schyman, Spokesperson, Swedish political party Feminist Initiative and elected member of the local parliament in Simrishamn, Sweden
Harold Kroto, FRS, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, USA
Hope Knutsson, President, Sidmennt the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, Iceland
Huguette Chomski Magnis, President, Mouvement Pour la Paix et Contre le Terrorisme, France
Ibn Warraq, Author, USA
Iza Desperak, Campaigner, Poland
Jaya Gopal, Coordinator, International Committee to Protect Freethinkers, India
Joëlle Wiels, Research Director, CNRS, France
Josette Vial , Lyon Association Regards de Femmes , France
Katarzyna Kopystyńska, Democratic Union of Women and Federation Polish Women’s Lobby, Poland
Katarzyna Zwolak, Women Space Foundation, Poland
Laura Dubinsky, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers, UK
Laura Guidetti, President, Marea Association, Italy
Leo Igwe, Executive Director, Nigerian Humanist Movement, Nigeria
Liisa Rantalaiho, University of Tampere, Finland
Manouchehr Ganji, Human Rights Campaigner, USA
Maria Calderar, EveryOne Group, Italy
Maria Rohaly, Mission Free Iran, USA
Marie-Christine Exsteyl, Vice-Présidente, Groupement Belge de la Porte Ouverte pour la défense économique de la travailleuse, Belgium
Marie-Hélène Clochard, Women’s Rights Campaigner, France
Matteo Pegoraro, Writer, EveryOne Group, Italy
Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Philosopher and Spokesperson, Giordano Bruno Foundation, Germany
Michèle Vianès, Présidente, Regards de Femmes, France
Mireille Popelin, Feminist and Secularist, France
Monica Lanfranco, Director, Marea Feminist Review, Italy
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President, Stop Child Executions, Canada
Nina Sankari, President, European Feminist Initiative, Poland
Olga Rémy, Member, HOCRINT, Belgium
P. Mazelpeux, Campaigner, France
Pascaline Segard, Women’s Rights Campaigner, France
Pedro Almeida, General Director, Secular Humanist League of Brazil, Brazil
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner, UK
Pragna Patel, Chair, Southall Black Sisters, UK
Richard Dawkins, Scientist and Author, UK
Roberto Malini, Writer, EveryOne Group, Italy
Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director, American Humanist Association, USA
Russell Blackford, Philosopher, Australia
Shahla Abghari, Women’s Rights Campaigner, USA
Siba Shakib, Author and Filmmaker, USA
Sonja Eggerickx, President, International Humanist Ethical Union, UK and President, Unie Vrijzinnige Verenigingen, Belgium
Steed Gamero, Photographer, EveryOne Group, Italy
Tasneem Khalil, Editor, Independent World Report, Sweden
Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society, UK
Udo Schuklenk, Professor of Philosophy and Ontario Research Chair in Bioethic, Canada
Valérie Surville, Campaigner, France
Venita Popovic and Nermin Sarajlic, Zenicke Sveske journal, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Viviane Teitelbaum, MP and President of the Council of Women, Belgium

Update on Jamal Saberi’s case

Dear All!

Just two months ago Jamal was released from prison. His fight for asylum and being safe from deportation however continue.

In this article in the Japan Times by Simon Scott we find out more about the toll his ordeal has taken on Jamal’s mental and physical health. After 20 years of living in Japan, Jamal Saberi is still in complete limbo about his rights to remain in Japan and still under threat of being deported to Iran.

Watch the video the Japan Times did on Jamal in English (also appears at the end of the article at above link).

We will keep you updated on Jamal’s situation.

Regards

Patty Debonitas
Free Jamal! campaign
Tel: +44 750 797 8745
freejamal.blogspot.com

Press Release 79: Sajjad Ghaderzadeh and Houtan Kian have been arrested

Press Release 79: Sajjad Ghaderzadeh and Houtan Kian have been arrested
11 October 2010

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son and lawyer, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh and Houtan Kian respectively, were arrested along with two German journalists in Tabriz on 10 October 2010 at 1900 hours local time. The security forces raided the lawyer’s office where an interview was taking place and arrested all four.

Their whereabouts are currently unknown and no news has been received of their situation since their arrests. All that is known is that they were arrested given that at the time of the raid, one of the journalists was on the phone speaking with Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of the International Committee against Stoning and International Committee against Execution. He had to abruptly end the call when the security forces brutally pushed their way in.

Since the arrests, Mina Ahadi has tried to contact them for several hours but to no avail. She also immediately contacted the relevant press agency and the German authorities. The arrests have now been confirmed.

We will make every effort to to secure the release of the four and call for increased pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran. The four and Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani must be immediately released.

International Committee against Stoning
International Committee against Execution

For more information, contact:
International Committee Against Stoning (http://stopstonningnow.com)
International Committee Against Execution (http://notonemoreexecution.org)
Spokesperson: Mina Ahadi [email protected] 0049-177-569-2413

Mina Ahadi and Maryam Namazie meet with European Parliament Vice President on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Press Release 78, 8 October 2010

Mina Ahadi and Maryam Namazie meet with European Parliament Vice President on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
Other events and actions to support World Day against the Death Penalty

On 7 October 2010, Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of the International Committees against Stoning and Execution, and Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of Iran Solidarity, met with European Parliament Vice President, Roberta Angelilli to discuss the urgent case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani (see photo). In addition to providing evidence and documentation on the case, a new letter by Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, Ashtiani’s 22 year old son, was hand delivered to the Vice President. The letter stated:

Given that:
- Our mother’s lawyer and we have been denied visitation since her first coerced ‘confession’ on Iranian state television on 11 August
- The home and office of her lawyer Houtan Kian has been raided and ransacked by security forces and all documents pertaining to our mother’s case confiscated
- The authorities have been busy establishing new trumped up murder charges against our mother and denying the stoning sentence for adultery, which has yet to be officially rescinded, and
- We have been receiving threats because of our interventions on our mother’s behalf
We ask you to urgently come to our aid by:
1. Sending a delegation to Iran to look into our mother’s wellbeing and case
2. Intervening to obtain our mother’s immediate release, and
3. Providing us with refuge in Italy.
Given the Islamic Republic of Iran’s misinformation and contradictory statements regarding her case, as well our mother’s torture and mistreatment, we are concerned she will face death by stoning or execution.
Our mother, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, is innocent and must be immediately released.

At the meeting, Ms. Angelilli pledged to raise Sajjad’s requests with an upcoming delegation to Iran and the Italian Foreign Minister.

Mina Ahadi and Maryam Namazie also met with Laima Andrikiene, Rapporteur for the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Human Rights sub-committee.

In addition to the meetings at the European Parliament, 16 events are taking place in several cities worldwide for 10 October, World Day against the Death Penalty.

Moreover, nearly 300 individuals and organisations have signed up to a resolution against the death penalty, including: Philosopher and Writer A C Grayling; Annie Sugier, President, Ligue du Droit International des Femmes; Arlene McCarthy, Member of the European Parliament; Daniel Salvatore Schiffer, Philosopher and Writer, Promotor of the “Open Letter to the Iranian Authorities” to support Sakineh; Eli Vieira, President, Secular Humanist League of Brazil; Esmail Khoi, Poet; Gudrun Schyman, Spokesperson for Sweidsh Feminist Initiativ; Kelly Epstein, Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; Lalia Ducos, Women’s Initiative for Citizenship and Universal Rights; Leo Igwe, President, Nigerian Humanist Movement; Marieme Helie Lucas, President, Secularism is a Woman’s Issue; Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Philosopher, Spokesperson of the Giordano Bruno Foundation; Michèle Vianès, Présidente, Regards de Femmes; Monica Lanfranco, Journalist and Director of Italian Feminist Review; Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President and Co-Founder, Stop Child Executions; Nina Sankari, European Feminist Initiative and Polish Rationalist Association; Ophelia Benson, Editor, Butterflies and Wheels; Pierre Pradervand, Trainer and Writer; Siba Shakib, best-selling Author and Filmmaker; Harold Kroto FRS, Nobel Laureate Chemistry 1996; Sonja Eggerickx, President, International Humanist and Ethical Union; Terry Sanderson, National Secular Society; and Author and Critic Wafa Sultan.

International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning

For more information, contact:
[email protected]
0049-177 569 2413

Act against the death penalty on 10 October

See list of actions for 10 October – Day against the Death Penalty. If you can rally or do an act of solidarity on the day, please email us at [email protected]

Also see updated list of signatories of resolution against the death penalty here.

Urgent Call to endorse resolution on capital punishment

Hello

We are writing to ask if you would endorse our resolution on capital punishment to mark World Day against the Death Penalty. If so, please email your name, organisation if any, city and country to [email protected] The resolution can be found here.

Please see our latest press releases and news on the Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani case below:

- Press Release 76: Sajad asks municipalities around the world to save his mother’s life
- Press Release 75: Sakineh is still in danger of execution
- Sajad’s letter to the UN
- Maryam Namazie’s letter to OFCOM about BBC Sunday Morning Live’s bias against Sakineh
- An open letter by Mina Ahadi and Maryam Namazie to Larry King

Also see an article on Teresa Lewis and Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

If you plan on holding a rally or act of solidarity against the death penalty on 10 October, please also email your event to [email protected]

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Warm wishes
Maryam Namazie

Resolution on Capital Punishment on the occasion of 10 October, World Day Against the Death Penalty

The death penalty is premeditated murder by the state. It must be unconditionally abolished worldwide. Abolition of the death penalty and valuing human life are the first steps toward fighting a ‘culture’ of killing in society. The death penalty is the most heinous form of premeditated murder in which a state, on behalf of society, in accordance with a preconceived plan, brutally and legally kills an individual, and announces the date and time of the event beforehand. Committing murder by citizens of a society can never be stopped when the state commits the same crime legally. The death penalty is a large contributor to the overall homicide and crime statistics.

In countries such as Iran political dissenters, gays, apostates, blasphemers, and even children are executed. The punishment for sex outside of marriage is stoning, which is the most monstrous form of execution. In such countries one must, indeed, add to this list the equally criminal, legal punishments such as gouging of eyes, pushing the convicted off heights, amputation, flogging and torture.

Many countries have put an end to the death penalty during the past 50 years. The growing movement against capital punishment has been a significant factor in the abolition of this inhuman punishment, or state crime. One important stronghold of the movement is in Iran, which is confronting an Islamic regime that has executed over hundred thousand people in the past 31 years – an annual average of over 3000 people and largely political prisoners. The abolition of the death penalty is an important demand of the Iranian people.

This year, 10 October, World Day against the Death Penalty, is yet another occasion for the world to stand up against the 21st century’s barbarism of capital punishment and demand the following:

1- The death penalty must be immediately abolished, in law as well as in practice, and existing execution sentences rescinded, in all countries.

2- Stoning is the most barbaric form of the death penalty carried out by Islamic states for sex outside of marriage. It must be officially declared a crime against humanity. Any state, political organisation, group or individual that commits this crime must be prosecuted and tried by international tribunals. All individuals sentenced to stoning must be freed immediately and unconditionally.

We consider ourselves part of the global anti-death penalty movement, and strongly support the struggles of people across the world to end capital punishment. Moreover, we hereby declare our solidarity with the people in Iran, and resolutely support their struggle to abolish stoning and execution which will be an important step in ultimately putting an end to an Islamic regime in Iran.

International Committee Against Execution www.notonemoreexecution.org
International Committee Against Stoning www.stopstonningnow.com
Iran Solidarity www.iransolidarity.org.uk
Mission Free Iran www.missionfreeiran.org

Please endorse this statement by sending your name, organisation (if any) or position (such as student, writer, campaigner, blogger), city and country to [email protected] before 10 October.