Madani Sharifi is a Kurdish taxi driver from the city of Orumiyeh, Iran. After taking a man from Orumiyeh to Ghazvin he was caught by local police who claimed that he was trafficing drugs. Mr. Sharifi to this day denies this claim and he was not found guilty on the basis of evidence presented in the court. According to Mr. Sharifi's lawyer there were no signs that he was engaged in such activity. When he was caught he carried no amount of money that would indicate such a transaction, there were no signs of drugs in the car, and they failed to provide proof of any connection to organizations that perform such activity. Prior to this event Mr. Sharifi had never acted in conflict with the law.
According to his lawyer, Mr. Sharifi was beaten so badly that, to save his life, he had to admit to a crime they could not prove he did. However, he admitted only to have transported a person from Orumiyeh to Ghazvin, but said that this was a usual job for a taxi driver and stressed that he did not know the man. The man he transported on the other hand, did carry drugs it turns out. Apparently, according to Iranian law, it does not matter who had the criminal intent; being unknowingly involved in such a crime results in the same punishment as the one who knowingly performs such a crime - death by hanging.
As things look now, he will be executed by hanging - when, is still not official.
The purpose of this petition is to halt the execution of Mr. Sharifi until the court considers his lawyer's claim that Mr. Sharifi was beaten and tortured to confess. We stand firm on the obligation of the Iranian courts to uphold the universal principle of the right to a fair trial not only for Mr. Sharifi but for all prisoners in Iran.
Mr. Sharifi potentially leaves a wife with no husband and two young daughters without their father.