Ask Iranian Authorities to Release Temporarily Prisoners of Conscience at Risk of COVID19

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Dear Prof. Rehman,

We, the undersigned, wish to draw your urgent attention to make an effective representation for a certain category of Azerbaijani prisoners of conscience in Iranian prisons at risk of infection from coronavirus. They are activists, listed below, who are imprisoned for campaigning peacefully for the right of education in mother language and the environment but are not being released temporarily for being arbitrarily labelled as risks to the security of the country. Without your effective representation, their lives are at risk.

The right for self-protection has just been denied to the prisoners of conscience listed below and to some others by recent directives designed by the Chief Justice of Iran and by the Iranian Supreme Leader, to prevent their temporary release on the following grounds:

  • The inmate will be denied of a temporary release if sentenced for 5 years or more and deemed convicted on the grounds of undermining the security of the country. Please see the attached Document 1 by Mr. Faghihi, who asserts that there is no legal basis for the 5 years restriction.
  • The release is left to the discretion of each province with scope to even more arbitrary acts.

We appeal for your effective representation to secure the rights of protection to all prisoners of conscience through their temporary release. We thank you in anticipation for your immediate actions.

The Updates on Prisoners of Conscience (further to Document 2 as attached)

We urgently remind you that Mr. Abbas Lisani has chronic underlying health problems. He is now at a high risk of infection, as he is in Ardabil prison exposed to an outbreak. Without an effective representation for his temporary release, the Iranian authorities will not release him. Also, Mrs. Mojgan Siami and Mr. Yusif Kari are kept in Ardabil prison and are at high risks.

Yet, we have no news on the impact of the ongoing outbreaks on Dr. Latif Hasani in Rajaishahr prison.

Prisoners of conscience in Evin prison in Tehran are at risk. In particular, those in Section 4 of Evin prison are at risk due to reported outbreaks, where Mr. Tohid Amin Amini, and Mr. Kazim Sefabekhsh are kept. We have learned that in most likelihood, Mr Tohid Amin Amini has already been infected and quarantined. Also, Mr. Jafar Rustemi Rad in Section 8 of Evin prison is at risk. We have no information on others including Mr. Alirza Farshi, Mr. Ehsan Shokr-Khudayi and Mrs. Zeynab Hamrang, who are kept in other sections of Evin prison.

The prison in Maragha, (East Azerbaijan), has a similar situation and therefore the vulnerability of the Mr. Akbar Azizi is unknown.

Mrs. Malihe Bargi Sadeghiani is now kept in Urmia prison and therefore she is at risk of infection.

Mr Amir Valizadeh, Mr. Amir Sattari, Mr. Mohhammad Abdolmohammadzadeh and Mr. Ali Azizi from Urmia are kept in Tabriz prison and are considered at risk. We have no information yet on other prisoners of conscience.

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