Published by on October 25, 2016

mohammad-ali-taheriAmnesty International issued an urgent statement calling on the Iranian regime to immediately release the imprisoned Iranian teacher, Mohammad Ali Taheri, who started a hunger strike on 28 September. He has been held incommunicado since 16 October. The authorities are refusing to provide his family with any information about his fate and whereabouts.

Amnesty International says Iranian spiritual teacher Mohammad Ali Taheri, who has been languishing in solitary confinement in Section 2A of Tehran’s Evin Prison for over five years, has been deprived of all contact with his family since 16 October. His family are in great distress over his fate and whereabouts, particularly because his health has deteriorated since he started a hunger strike on 28 September. They have gone to various prison and judicial officials to enquire about his conditions and whereabouts but the authorities have refused to provide them with any information. Judicial officials appear to have informally told his lawyers that Mohammad Ali Taheri lost consciousness on the night of 18 October and was transferred to a Tehran hospital where the Revolutionary Guards frequently take people who are in their custody and hospitalize them under pseudonyms. This information, however, has not been confirmed to his family.

His family have said that his main interrogator and a masked man entered his cell on the fifth day of his hunger strike, took him to an interrogation room, and put him under pressure to give video-recorded “confessions”. They have said that he was beaten when he resisted.

Mohammad Ali Taheri, who has been in detention since May 2011, started his latest hunger strike in protest at the authorities’ refusal to release him even though he had completed serving his five-year prison sentence, which had been imposed on him for “insulting Islamic sanctities” for establishing a spiritual doctrine and group called Erfan-e Halgheh. In June 2016, he was acquitted of a second charge of “spreading corruption on earth”, for which he had been previously sentenced to death in August 2015.

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Abolish death penalty

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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