#JusticeForNiloufar demanding Iranian authorities to release Ms. Bayani

#JusticeForNiloufar demanding Iranian authorities to release Ms. Bayani

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Farhad Latif started this petition to Iranian Authorities and

On January 24, 2018, Ms. Bayani was arrested alongside eight of her colleagues, including Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation founder Professor Kavous Seyed-Emami, while conducting field research for the foundation.

On February 9, 2018, authorities notified Professor Seyed-Emami’s wife of her husband’s death and publicly claimed it was suicide. Human rights groups, however, have argued that his death occurred under extremely suspicious circumstances and are demanding an investigation, including an autopsy.

On October 24, 2018, it was announced that Iranian authorities finalized indictments for the conservationists. Ms. Bayani and three of her colleagues face charges of “sowing corruption on earth,” a charge which can carry the death penalty. The charge is based on a claim that the conservationists were “seeking proximity to military sites with the cover of the environmental projects and obtaining military information from them.” Reports indicate that the conservationists have been subjected to long periods of solitary confinement, and granted severely limited and sporadic access to family and legal counsel.

On January 30, 2019, nearly a year after their initial arrest, Ms. Bayani and her colleagues were read part of the 300-page indictment in a closed-door trial at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court. Ms. Bayani reportedly interrupted the reading of the indictment, objecting that her forced confessions had apparently become the basis for the indictment. Ms. Bayani reportedly stated that her forced confessions had been made while she was subjected to physical and mental torture and that she retracted all of them after the first round of investigations. Human rights organizations report that, after the first trial on January 30, Ms. Bayani has been absent three out of the five court sessions since, although her lawyer was present. Authorities have not provided a public explanation for Ms. Bayani’s absence.

"Protecting endangered wildlife is not a crime. These conservationists are scientists who were carrying out legitimate research"
Philip Luther, MENA Research and Advocacy Director at Amnesty International

For the latest summary of court process thus far, here are the main news links:

30 January 2019 – Eight Conservationists Tried in Iran on Basis of Retracted False “Confessions” https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2019/01/eight-conservationists-tried-in-iran-on-basis-of-retracted-false-confessions/
02 February 2019 – Ex-Iranian Official Blasts World’s Silence as Conservationists Go on Trial https://www.voanews.com/amp/ex-iranian-official-blasts-world-s-silence-as-conservationists-go-on-trial/4769670.html?__twitter_impression=true
05 February 2019 – Iran: Environmentalists’ Flawed Trial. Detainees Allege Torture in Detention https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/02/05/iran-environmentalists-flawed-trial
07 February – Mounting Evidence that Clears Eight Conservationists from Grave Charges, Judiciary Still Relies on Forced “Confessions” https://iranhumanrights.org/2019/02/mounting-evidence-that-clears-eight-conservationists-from-grave-charges-judiciary-still-relies-on-forced-confessions
11 Feb - Iranian Agents Tried to Frame Detained Conservationists by Staging Scenes to Falsely Implicate Them, https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2019/02/iranian-agents-tried-to-frame-detained-conservationists-by-staging-scenes-to-falsely-implicate-them/

Join us in the #JusticeForNiloufar movement and demand that Niloufar be released from Iranian officials immediately.

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