Prominent Iranian Human Rights Defender Arrested
Prominent Iranian Journalist and human rights defender Emadeddin Baghi was arrested on December 28, 2009, the day after massive protests were held in Tehran and other cities to mark the Shi'a religious observance of 'Ashura. He is not known to have been charged with a crime. He is in poor health stemming from his previous imprisonment, and Amnesty International is concerned that he could be subjected to ill-treatment and medical neglect while in detention.
Emadeddin Baghi is the founder of the Association for the Defense of Prisoners’ Rights, which had been compiling information on torture and other abuses of detainees. Mr. Baghi has served years in prison on charges of “endangering national security” and “printing lies.” In December 2007, during his most recent imprisonment, he suffered three seizures and a heart attack and remained in poor health without adequate medical care until his release in October 2008. Officials closed down the office of the Association for the Defense of Prisoners’ Rights in September 2009.
Please send a message to the Iranian authorities calling for Baghi's immediate and unconditional release.
- Supreme Leader, Iran
Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei
- Head of Tehran Judiciary
Ali Reza Avaei
I am writing to you to express my concern about the arrest of prominent human rights defender Emadeddin Baghi on 28 December 2009, following protests in Tehran and other cities marking 'Ashura. I am particularly concerned because Mr. Baghi suffers from poor health and he could be subjected to ill-treatment and medical neglect while in detention. During his previous imprisonment from October 2007 to October 2008, he suffered seizures and a heart attack and did not receive adequate medical treatment. He has been repeatedly persecuted by the Iranian authorities for his peaceful advocacy for human rights; his Association for the Defense of Prisoners' Rights was shut down in September 2009 and he was prevented from receiving the prestigious Martin Ennals award for human rights defenders in November 2009.
I urge that while in detention, Emadeddin Baghi be given access to his family, to his lawyer, and to any necessary medical attention. I also urge you to ensure that he is not subjected to ill-treatment. Finally, Emadeddin Baghi is a prisoner of conscience, and I therefore call for his immediate and unconditional release.
Thank you very much for your attention.
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