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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]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear Mr Raisi,
On 9 February 2020, human rights lawyer Amirsalar Davoudi began a hunger strike in protest at the Iranian authorities’ refusal to grant him prison leave. On 12 February, in an open letter from prison, Amirsalar Davoudi explained the reasons for his hunger strike, saying that, since his arrest, he had spent a prolonged period in solitary confinement, which would amount to torture or other ill-treatment. Amirsalar Davoudi was arrested on 20 November 2018 by agents from the intelligence unit of the judiciary at his workplace in Tehran and transferred to section 241 of Tehran’s Evin prison, which is run by the same unit. There he was held in solitary confinement, during which he was frequently interrogated without a lawyer present. He was then moved to a cell with other prisoners in the same section, before being transferred to section 7 of the prison on 2 June 2019.
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. 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”.
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, and that he receives adequate health care, in compliance with medical ethics, including the principles of confidentiality, autonomy and informed consent. 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.