Sunday, 15 August 2010

Response to Letters Asking For Help For Sakineh, Mostafaei & Iran

As part of it's work supporting the campaigns to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani from her sentence of death by stoning in Iran, The AIM and several of it's members have emailed and posted a number of letters and petitions to a large number of government officials, human rights organisations and media outlets. A few days ago, The AIM received a response to one of the emails sent which you can read below. I have also received a response to a letter I sent to Downing Street which was then passed to The UK Foreign Commonwealth Office asking for pressure to be applied for Iran to be removed from The UN Commission on the Status of Women. The letter text and responses are available to read here. These letters and emails were based on samples provided by our comrades at Mission Free Iran.

Original Email to EU Governments:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you with an urgent request that you intervene with the authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran, who continue to harass, intimidate and persecute Mohammad Mostafaei, and have issued a warrant for his arrest, in the wake of the international outcry demanding freedom for his client, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. The regime has also taken as hostages Mostafaei's wife and brother-in-law (Fereshteh and Farhad Halimi), imprisoning them in a craven attempt to force Mostafaei to turn himself in.

Mohammad Mostafaei is a lawyer who has honorably and courageously defended Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani against a stoning execution in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The worldwide outcry against the execution of Sakineh Ashtiani has created embarrassment and political difficulties for the Islamic Republic, and they have harassed and attempted to intimidate Mr. Mostafaei in an effort to reduce the pressure on the regime that has been caused by the campaign for Mostafaei's client Ashtiani.

I condemn the reprehensible injustice of the Islamic Republic; the regime should not be allowed a free hand to silence Mostafaei and terrorize his family in this way. Iranian lawyers must be free to represent their clients without fear of harassment and intimidation of themselves or their loved ones. I therefore demand immediate and unconditional freedom of Mostafaei's family; immediate and unconditional guarantee for Mostafaei's safety and freedom of practicing his legal obligations towards his clients; immediate end to harassment and intimidation of Mostafaei, his family, friends, and colleagues; and immediate and unconditional freedom for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is solely responsible for the safety and freedom of Mr. Mostafaei.

Diplomatic sanctions, including travel bans, freezing of bank accounts, and expulsion from international organizations such as the UN must be used to force the Islamic Republic to comply with international law and standards of human rights. I expect this government to take immediate steps to implement serious diplomatic sanctions against the criminal regime of the Islamic Republic.


The Anti-Injustice Movement

Response to Email from Finland:

Dear people of The Anti-Injustice Movement,

Finland, as a part of the European Union, is following closely the developments of the human rights situation in Iran. We are aware of Ms. Ashtiani’s case and are keeping watch on her situation.

Iran is a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This Covenant includes e. g. right to a just and fair trial, which is also contained in the Constitution of Iran. The Covenant also prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, has recently voiced EU’s profound concern on Iran's increasing use of the death penalty and discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities and women.

The EU has repeatedly demanded Iran to comply with its international and national human rights obligations. Finland and other EU countries have summoned the Ambassadors of Iran several times in regard to the human rights situation in Iran. We also continue to support efforts to improve the human rights situation in Iran.


Jussi Soini
Regional Manager
Unit for the Middle East and North Africa
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

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