07/08/2019

Urgent Action: Lawyer Sentenced to Over 29 Years in Prison (Iran: UA 94.19)


Human rights lawyer Amirsalar Davoudi has been sentenced to 29 years and three months in prison and 111 lashes on charges stemming from his human rights work. He was interrogated in detention without a lawyer present and was convicted and sentenced in his absence. Under Iran’s sentencing guidelines, he is required to serve 15 years of this sentence. He is a prisoner of conscience.

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Head of the Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi
C/o Permanent Mission of Iran to the UN
Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28
1209 Geneva, Switzerland
H.E. Majid Takht Ravanchi
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212 687-2020 I Fax: 212 867 7086
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Iran_UN
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Mr. Raisi,

On 20 November 2018, human rights lawyer Amirsalar Davoudi was arrested by agents from the intelligence unit of the judiciary at his place of work in Tehran. The agents searched his office and home, confiscating documents and personal belongings before transferring him to section 241 of Tehran’s Evin prison, which is run by the intelligence unit of the judiciary. Here, he was held for several months in solitary confinement, during which he was frequently interrogated without a lawyer present, before being moved to a cell with other prisoners. He was moved to section 7 of the prison on 2 June 2019. Since his arrest, he has been allowed limited contact with his family through infrequent visits and telephone calls. He has been permitted only two visits with his lawyer.

Amirsalar Davoudi was formally informed of his charges during the second half of January 2019. Subsequently, on 28 May 2019, he learned that branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran had convicted him, in his absence, on six charges and sentenced him to a total of 29 years and three months in prison and 111 lashes. The charges included “insulting the Supreme Leader”, “spreading propaganda against the system” and “forming a group with the purpose of disrupting national security” in relation to his human rights work. They related to media interviews he had given and posts he had uploaded to a channel he runs on the mobile messaging app Telegram, which raised concerns about the authorities’ treatment of lawyers and, more generally, the human rights situation in Iran. Under Iran’s sentencing guidelines, he has to serve the lengthiest single sentence imposed for the most serious charge, which in his case is 15 years for the charge of “forming a group with the purpose of disrupting national security”.

Amirsalar Davoudi is planning to submit a request for a judicial review of his case to the Supreme Court.

I urge you to release Amirsalar Davoudi immediately and unconditionally as he is a prisoner of conscience, jailed solely for his human rights work. Pending his release, ensure that he has regular contact with his family and a lawyer of his choosing. Please ensure that Iran’s justice system is not misused to target or harass human rights lawyers and refrain from bringing criminal charges or any other proceedings against them that stem solely from the peaceful exercise of their rights.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES