2009: Iran: Roxana Sabera

March 17th 2009

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei
Shoahada Street
Qom
Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency,

Journalist and writer Roxana Sabera

Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN is seriously concerned about the detention of Iranian-American journalist and writer Roxana Sabera, who has been held incommunicado and without charge in Evin Prison since late January 2009.

PEN seeks assurances of her well-being and details of any charges against her. PEN reminds the Iranian authorities of their obligations to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and demands that she is immediately and unconditionally released unless charged with a recognisable criminal offence.
We urge that she is given access to legal representation

Your Excellency, we trust that you will look into the case of Roxana Sabera and give it your immediate attention,

Yours sincerely

Aase Gjerdrum
Translator, member of Norwegian PENs WiPC

2008: Iran: Yaghoub Ydali

March 12th 2008
His Excelleccy Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei
Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency

Novelist Yaghoub Ydali

The Writer in Prison Committee of International PEN has learned with alarm the threat of re-arrest of novelist Yaghoub Ydali. It seems that an appeals court has ordered that he serve the full one year term in prison, even though nine months of the term was initially suspended. PEN protests the sentence against award winning novelist Mr. Ydali and demands that all charges against him are dropped in accordance with Article 19 o the Internaional Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.

We also call for a lifting of the ban of his works.

Trusting that Your Excellency will listen to this urgent appeal and look into this case at your earliest convenience,

With sincere best wishes

Aase Gjerdrum
Member of Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN

2008: Iran: Emadeddin Baqi

Oslo, 16 January 2008

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email:  info@leader.ir or istiftaa@wilayah.org

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Minister of Intelligence
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence,
Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.

Your Excellencies

I, as Chair of The Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN, am deeply concerned about reports that leading journalist and human rights defender Emadeddin Baqi suffered a heart attack in prison on 26 December 2007. He was reportedly briefly hospitalised for emergency treatment, but then returned to prison, where he is said to be held incommunicado and in solitary confinement in section 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison.

Norwegian PEN considers journalist Emadeddin Baqi to be detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to free expression, and calls on the Iranian authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally on humanitarian grounds and in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory.

Norwegian PEN seeks assurances of Baqi’s health, and guarantees that he is being given access to his family, lawyers and all necessary medical care as a matter of urgency.

Confident that you, Your Excellency, will take action accordingly, I am,

Yours sincerely

Elisabet W. Middelthon
Chair Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN

Copy of all appeals to: The President, His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: Via Foreign Ministry: +98 21 6 674 790 (mark: “Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad”) – Email:   dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir   via website: www.president.ir/email

Copies to:
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo,
The Norwegian Embassy in Tehran
The Iranian Embassy, Oslo

2007: Iran: Book censorship

13. December 2007

Mohammad Hossein Safar Harandi
Ministry of Islamic Guidance and Culture
Tehran

Dear Mohammad Hossei Safar Harandi

PEN International reports its deepening concern that book censorship in Iran has tightened dramatically since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in August 2005. PEN is distressed that the rise in book censorship appear to be part of a widespread crackdown on free expression, and reminds the Iranian authorities of their commitment to Article 19  of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.

It appears that thousands of new and previously published works have been blacklisted by Iranian authorities and the publishing industry is said to be in crisis.

PEN would like to ask you to look into this intensified censorship and see to it that the situation is being altered in a way that will further freedom of expression in your country.

With sincere respect

Aase Gjerdrum
Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN

2007: Iran: Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand

15th November 2007

International Writers in Prison Day

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khameney
Qom
Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency;

Re Journalist Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand

It appears that Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, who was arrested on July 1st 2007, for reasons which remain unclear, is being ill-treated in detention, and at risk of torture. International PEN is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, who seems to be detained in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

The detainee suffers from poor health; high blood pressure, a skin and a kidney condition, and has been told by prison guards that every time he wants to go to the toilet he must write a letter to the intelligence officials running Section 209 of Evin Prison and seek formal permission to do so!
International PEN seeks assurances of his well being, guarantees that his basic rights are being respected and that he is given full access to all necessary medical care as a matter of urgency.

Your Excellency, we urge you to look into this case immediately, and see to it that Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand’s case is reconsidered in view of international standards for fair treatment and fair trials, and that special attention is given to his obvious need for medical treatment.

Yours sincerely

Aase Gjerdrum
Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN

e-mail copies to His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and to Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

2007: Iran: Yaghoub Yadali

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@leader.ir , istiftaa@wilayah.org

15 November 2007

Your Excellency,

In September 2007, novelist Yaghoub Yadali was sentenced to one year in prison on charges of “insult”. The conviction stems from his depictions of characters from the Lor ethnic minority, of which Yadali is a member himself, in his fiction.

Yaghoub Yadali is a prominent writer, and was awarded the Press Critics Annual Prize in 2001. Since his arrest Yadali has been banned from publishing, and his books have been withdrawn from the market. He has also been dismissed from his job, and is now unemployed and without financial support.

Norwegian PEN protests the one-year sentence against writer Yaghoub Yadali for his fictional writings, and demand that all charges against him are dropped in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory.

Confident that you, Your Excellency, will take action accordingly, I remain,

Yours sincerely

Elisabet W. Middelthon
Chair Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN

Copies to:
The President, His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue,
Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: Via Foreign Ministry: +98 21 6 674 790
(mark: “Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad”)
Email:   dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir   via website: www.president.ir/email

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo, The Norwegian Embassy in Tehran
The Iranian Embassy, Oslo

9-2007: C. M. Iversen: Shirin Ebadi visits Norway: Increased repression in Iran

Shirin Ebadi visits Norway:
Crackdown on free expression and human rights increasing in Iran.

At a meeting with representatives from several Norwegian NGOs at the Human Rights House in Oslo last Friday, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi gave an update of the situation for the press and for human rights activists in Iran.

“The situation is worsening daily.  There has been an increase in executions, also of citizens under the age of 18”, says Ebadi and adds that she is currently trying to stop the executions of two 15-year olds.  She blames the “bad” laws and the legal system for this situation.  She has started a campaign at her human rights centre in Teheran, sending people on door-to-door visits to collect signatures in order to fight the oppressive legal system.  She asks for more international focus on these executions and claims that authorities sentence 15-year olds to death and then put then execution on hold until they are 18.

Ebadi also told her story about the recent visit of Louise Arbour – the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to Teheran last month.  Iranian authorities ordered the press not to write about the visit fearing that people and organisations would be wanting to meet with her.  But somebody learned about her visit and while Arbour was on her way to the UN office in Teheran, the families of 12 jailed political prisoners were holding a demonstration outside the building.  The police, while beating up the demonstrators outside the UN-office, desperately tried to slow down Arbour´s car.  Finally, UN-staff intervened, Ebadi informed Arbour about the incident and she promised to raise it with the authorities.

Her own situation is difficult and she receives threaths every day.  She has spent part of the money from the Nobel Prize to set up offices in her Center for Human Rights Defenders, even though she has been warned by authorities that the office is illegal.  Her center does not accept any sort of financial aid from national or foreign sources.  Its activities are based on free work and membership fees only.

The opposition among the people grows stronger every day due to increasing powerty.  She has refused to take on any form of political leadership saying that her role is that of the human rights defender.

18.09.07    Carl Morten Iversen

Shirin Ebadi visits Norway: Crackdown on free expression and human rights increasing in Iran

At a meeting with representatives from several Norwegian NGOs at the Human Rights House in Oslo last Friday, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi gave an update of the situation for the press and for human rights activists in Iran.

“The situation is worsening daily.  There has been an increase in executions, also of citizens under the age of 18”, says Ebadi and adds that she is currently trying to stop the executions of two 15-year olds.  She blames the “bad” laws and the legal system for this situation.  She has started a campaign at her human rights centre in Teheran, sending people on door-to-door visits to collect signatures in order to fight the oppressive legal system.  She asks for more international focus on these executions and claims that authorities sentence 15-year olds to death and then put then execution on hold until they are 18.

Ebadi also told her story about the recent visit of Louise Arbour – the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to Teheran last month.  Iranian authorities ordered the press not to write about the visit fearing that people and organisations would be wanting to meet with her.  But somebody learned about her visit and while Arbour was on her way to the UN office in Teheran, the families of 12 jailed political prisoners were holding a demonstration outside the building.  The police, while beating up the demonstrators outside the UN-office, desperately tried to slow down Arbour´s car.  Finally, UN-staff intervened, Ebadi informed Arbour about the incident and she promised to raise it with the authorities.

Her own situation is difficult and she receives threaths every day.  She has spent part of the money from the Nobel Prize to set up offices in her Center for Human Rights Defenders, even though she has been warned by authorities that the office is illegal.  Her center does not accept any sort of financial aid from national or foreign sources.  Its activities are based on free work and membership fees only.

The opposition among the people grows stronger every day due to increasing powerty.  She has refused to take on any form of political leadership saying that her role is that of the human rights defender.

18.09.07

2007: Iran: Kian Tajbakhsh

September 11, 2007

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khameini
Qom,
Islamic Rebublic of Iran

Your Excellency

The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN welcomes the release of Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari, who was freed on bail on 21st August 2007.

However, PEN remains seriously concerned about the continued detention of Iranian-American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh, who has been held since 11th May 2007.  The detention of Kian Tajbakhsh is apparently in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations Intenational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.
We appeal for his immediate and unconditional release.

PEN further calls for all charges against Haleh Esfandiari to be dropped.

Your Excellency, we sincerely urge you to look into these two cases, and listen to our appeal concerning the charges raised against them.

Yours sincerely

Aase Gjerdrum
translator
member, Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN

Cc Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Head of the Judiciary, Tehran
Minister of Intelligence, Tehran
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Tehran

2007: Iran: Adnan Hassanpour

NB Likelydende brev til:

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Minister of Intelligence
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence,
Second Negarestan Street,
Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran.

Oslo, 9 August 2007

Your Excellency,

The Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN reiterates its concern about the death sentence handed down to Iranian Kurdish journalist, writer and human rights activist Adnan Hassanpour on 16 July 2007, which was reportedly confirmed by an appeals court on 31 July 2007. Hassanpour, who was arrested on 25 January 2007, is believed to have been convicted of being a mohareb (‘enemy of God’), possibly for expressing his views on the Kurdish issue.

Norwegianl PEN is urgently seeking details of the charges against him, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory.

Norwegianl PEN is deeply concerned about Adnan Hassanpour’s health, and we seek assurance from the Iranian authorities that his wellbeing is guaranteed. We see an apparant pattern of repression against journalists, writers and human rights activists in Iranian Kurdistan, and we call for the immediate and unconditional release of all journalists and writers detained in Iranian Kurdistan solely for the peaceful expression of their views.

Confident that you, Your Excellency, will take action accordingly, I remain,

Yours sincerely

Elisabet W. Middelthon
Chair, Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN

Copy of all appeals to: The President, His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: Via Foreign Ministry: +98 21 6 674 790 (mark: “Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad”) – Email:   dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir   via website: www.president.ir/email

Copies to:
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo,
The Norwegian Embassy in Tehran
The Iranian Embassy, Oslo