URGENT ACTION to Stop the Execution of Political Prisoner Jafar Kazemi : Updated with Appeals Court Verdict
- United Nations and Government and International Organizations
Jafar Kazemi is 47 years old, married, and has two children. He is a lithographer for academic books and illustrations at Amirkabir University. Currently, he sits on death row in Iran.
On July 31, 2010, Jafar Kazemi’s family paid an expected visit to the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office in hopes to see Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi (Tehran Prosecutor). An assistant by the name of Alizadeh informed the family that Dolatabadi would not be speaking to them, but he did deliver a message: Jafar Kazemi will definitely be executed.
On September 18, 2009, after attending a Qods Day protest, Kazemi was arrested by officials from the Ministry of Intelligence. He was taken to ward 209 of Evin prison and spent 74 days in solitary confinement where he was subjected to interrogation and extremely painful psychological and physical torture. He was sentenced to death under the charge of Moharebeh (waging war against God) for affiliation with the People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI).
Jafar Kazemi was also imprisoned from 1981 to 1990, charged with affiliation with the PMOI. He was witness to the horrific 1988 mass execution of Iranian political prisoners.
In an interview with Voice of America on July 31, 2010, Jafar Kazemi's lawyer Nasim Ghanavi explained that although he was a supporter of the PMOI in the 1980s, he has no record of political activism since then.
According to Ghanavi, Shi’ite scholars state that the charge of Moharebeh is levied against those who rise up in an armed revolt against the government. Ghanavi explains that this is not the case with her client. It is believed that he did take part in post-election gatherings and chanted slogans but his lawyer says the charge of Moharebeh is baseless.
Ghanavi added, "In my opinion, as a lawyer, this is not evidence to accuse Kazemi of Moharebeh. It was mentioned in the defense statement that the PMOI was disarmed, which means that the organization cannot be considered an armed group."
Ghanavi explained that the appeal for Kazemi was never really considered by the court and the Moharebeh charge was never looked into.
Jafar Kazemi’s family met with Bakhtiari, the Minister of Justice. Bakhtiari stated that he was unable to do anything because a pardon for a political prisoner execution must first be attained from Ali Khamenei, the Iranian Supreme Leader.
We, the undersigned, demand the immediate halt to the execution order issued to Jafar Kazemi. The sentence is entirely illegal and it was only issued to fulfill a political agenda.
The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has made Jafar Kazemi suffer since the 1980s when he was imprisoned for a decade and subjected to barbaric forms of physical and psychological torture.
Since September 2009, Jafar Kazemi is once again imprisoned, and now he faces execution. He is charged with Moharebeh (waging war against God). According to Kazemi's lawyer Ghanavi, Shi’ite scholars state that the charge of Moharebeh is levied against those who rise up in an armed revolt against the government. Ghanavi explains that this is not the case with her client. It is believed that he did take part in post-election gatherings and chanted slogans but his lawyer says the charge of Moharebeh is baseless. Ghanavi explained that the appeal for Kazemi was never really considered by the court and the Moharebeh charge was never looked into.
According to Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran,
Iran's Minister of Justice has stated that the only way to spare Jafar Kazemi's life is if Ali Khamenei (Iran's Supreme Leader) submits a pardon.
We consider death sentences issued to political prisoners to fulfill political agendas tantamount to crimes against humanity. We request from the UN Secretary General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions to submit the file for Iran's crimes against humanity to the UN Security Council to decide on the necessary actions that need to be taken.
The URGENT ACTION to Stop the Execution of Political Prisoner Jafar Kazemi : Updated with Appeals Court Verdict petition to United Nations and Government and International Organizations was written by Maryam and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.