Release Human Rights Activist Mehdi Khodaei
This petition made change with 3,289 supporters!
Five years ago, my cousin Mehdi was arrested by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Prior to his arrest, Mehdi and I worked together as student activists on human rights issues throughout Iran. After a month in prison and continued threats from the Iranian government forced me to flee the country, I was eventually granted asylum by the United States, where I continue my activism. But Mehdi was not so lucky.
Mehdi had been an active board member of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI), an organization known for exposing human rights abuses in Iran and helping the families of political prisoners. In 2009, Mehdi was actively involved in pro-democracy protests as a key organizer for the student wing of HRAI. He also worked to produce and distribute human rights pamphlets publicizing abuses by the IRI. The government responded brutally, and over 30 members of HRAI, including Mehdi, were arrested. Ultimately, Mehdi was sentenced to 7 years in prison for “propaganda against the system."
I cherish my childhood memories with Mehdi. As a teenager, everyone loved to spend time with him because he was always laughing and telling jokes. But Mehdi also had a deeply serious side, and once he made a decision changing his mind was not easy. Mehdi’s humor and determination have been his gift as a human rights activist and have kept him going during his time in prison.
Mehdi is not a criminal. His activities were peaceful, thoughtful, and aimed at improving the lives of individuals in Iran. Further, according to Iranian law he has been in prison too long. Changes to Iran’s penal code in 2013 should have led to reduced sentences for people like Mehdi, but the Iranian judiciary has chosen not to enforce these laws. We are simply asking the Iranian government to enforce its own laws.
I want to show the Islamic Republic that the world cares for Mehdi and activists like him. Time and time again we've seen how pressure from the international community can help political prisoners like Mehdi win their freedom. I'm asking for your support one more time.
Sign this petition for Mehdi Khodaei and ask Sadegh Larijani, Head of the Iranian Judiciary to release him.
United for Iran
Today: United for Iran is counting on you
United for Iran needs your help with “Free Mehdi Khodaei”. Join United for Iran and 3,288 supporters today.