March 21, 2017
The Iranian holiday Nowruz (نوروز or “new day”) is an ancient holiday that takes place on the first day of spring to celebrate the new year. Each Nowruz, Scholars at Risk partners with Amnesty International for their #NowruzAction Campaign, an effort to remember prisoners of conscience and political prisoners in Iran.
This year, SAR will write to Iranian prisoners of conscience Hamid Babaei and Abdolfattah Soltani to share Nowruz cheer and raise awareness about their cases. We ask that you join us by writing a brief, non-political Nowruz greeting on a spring-themed card to be sent to these courageous scholars. Nowruz is a time of renewal and letters should be sent with the intent of giving these scholars a sense of acknowledgement and hope. You may send a greeting in either English or Farsi (Persian) but please do not mention Scholars at Risk, Amnesty International, specifics of the recipient’s case, or the political situation, human rights or U.S.-Iran relations.
Abdolfattah Soltani, Iran
Abdolfattah Soltani is a prominent human rights lawyer and co-founder, along with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, of the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. Mr. Soltani has been arrested on multiple occasions, most recently on September 10, 2011 on charges of “spreading propaganda against the regime” and “endangering national security,” for which he is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence. SAR is concerned about the disregard of international standards of due process and fair trial in the case of Mr. Soltani as well as his lack of access to medical treatment, legal representation, and family visitation.
You can send Nowruz greetings to Abdolfattah Soltani at:
March 13, 2017
Until We Are Free: My Personal Fight for Human Rights in Iran is a biographical account of Shirin Ebadi, a 2003 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. A native Iranian Muslim and proud of it, Mrs. Shirin Ebadi documented the cruelty of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In her book, Ebadi provides moving descriptions and clear evidence of the repressive nature of the Iranian regime. What emerges is a clear picture of a Stalinist-like regime absent the Soviet Gulags. The regime’s Intelligence Ministry shuts down all criticism of the regime, by arrests, torture and murder. There is no free press in the Islamic Republic of Iran, no free speech, and every facet of free life is controlled and repressed by the Ayatollahs, through their praetorian guards — the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and the Basij Resistance Force, a voluntary paramilitary organization operating under the IRGC. It is an auxiliary force with multiple duties, including internal security, law enforcement, special religious and political events, and morals policing.
Removed from her judgeship by the Islamic Republic, Ebadi became a civil rights lawyer but soon found her attempts to defend the innocent and voiceless people being blocked by the regime’s extensive apparatus and corrupt officials. Ebadi writes: “On several occasions I had trouble simply trying to review a file at the court-house. The clerk, upon realizing that I wasn’t going to ‘tip’ him for retrieving the file, would say ‘Sorry the file is missing. Come back tomorrow.’ I would go back the next day, and he would say, ‘Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to reach for your file…” Justice in the Ayatollahs Iran, Ebadi concluded, is “bought, not fought for or deliberated.”
March 9, 2017
(شورای ملی ایران Facebook)
March 2, 2017
Soltani is currently on year seven of a 13-year prison sentence issued for doing his job–by joining the Twitter storm with hashtag #2000days TONIGHT. Learn more about his case:http://buff.ly/2lsCISe
(International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran Facebook)
February 28, 2017
Thursday 2nd of March marks the 2000th day that prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani has been in prison. To mark this day, we are taking part in a two-hour Twitter Storm and invite you to join us in calling for his immediate and unconditional release. Below are some suggested tweets. Please use the hashtags #FreeSoltani and #2000Days
DATE: Thursday, 2 March 2017
TIME: 20:00-22:00 Tehran time (16:30-18:30 GMT London time)
Iranian human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani has won awards for his peaceful work. He should be praised, not jailed #FreeSoltani
Iranian human rights defender Abdolfattah Soltani is NOT a criminal & defending human rights is NOT a crime. #FreeSoltani NOW!
Iran wants to silence human rights lawyers like Abdolfattah Soltani who has spent #2000Days in jail. @khamenei_ir must #FreeSoltani NOW!
By keeping Abdolfattah Soltani in jail, Iran is showing its intent to silence human rights defenders at all costs. #FreeSoltani NOW!
Human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani has been in prison for #2000Days. Tell Iran’s @khamenei_ir to #FreeSoltani NOW!
Abdolfattah Soltani has spent #2000Days behind bars. His crime? Defending human rights. @khamenei_ir must #FreeSoltani NOW!
RT & tell #Iran’s @khamenei_ir that defending human rights is NOT a crime. Free human rights defender Abdolfattah Soltani NOW! #FreeSoltani
(Human Rights in Iran-Amnesty International حقوق بشر در ایران- عفو بین الملل Facebook)
February 23, 2017
On 26 February Hollywood’s brightest stars will gather in LA for the Oscars. The biggest film event on the calendar will provide a welcome distraction from the reality of a year that has seen assaults on human rights in almost every country.
Times like these can bring out the best in us, mobilizing people around the world to fight for what is right. Just like in the movies, sometimes extraordinary circumstances can make heroes out of ordinary people.
There are countless brave activists around the world who take great personal risks to defend human rights. Since it’s awards season, Amnesty International is paying tribute to four human rights heroes whose dramatic stories could – and should – be made into movies:
Sirikan Charoensiri, also known as “June”, is a young lawyer who has bravely stood up for human rights during a dark period of military rule in Thailand. In June 2015, she was on hand at a peaceful protest by pro-democracy student activists in Bangkok to monitor the situation and provide legal representation, if necessary.
In Iran, human rights defenders and other peaceful critics are subject to relentless harassment. Over the past year, those jailed after shockingly unfair trials before Revolutionary Courts including lawyers, bloggers, students, women’s rights activists, filmmakers and even musicians.
February 23, 2017
The life of a prominent imprisoned human rights lawyer, Abdolfattah Soltani, is in “danger,” said his wife, Masoome Dehghan, on Facebook on Feb 21. “You could see his face is pale and he has become very weak from stomach and intestinal problems… He’s in prison for defending the law… Who’s responsible for the lives of prisoners?… My husband’s life is in danger. Who’s responsible? Answer me!” she wrote in a post that has been removed.
Soltani was seen by a specialist outside Evin Prison in Tehran and underwent procedures to examine parts of his badly damaged digestive tract, wrote Dehghan, adding that the health of her husband, who has spent more than six years in prison, will not improve under the stressful conditions of incarceration, according to doctors. Soltani has been sentenced to 10 years in prison but is eligible for early release for serving more than half of his term. Learn more about his case: http://buff.ly/2kN8vBX
(International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran Facebook)