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To: United Nations Secretary General
August 1, 2006
Honorable Kofi Annan,
Secretary General of the United Nations
UN Headquarters, NYC, NY
Another Prisoner of Conscience Died in Prison in Iran
Name: Akbar Mohammadi
Age: 35 years old
Event: Death while in custody
Cause of Death: Heart attack while on hunger strike
Reason for his arrest: Participation in student demonstration of 1999
We are writing to inform you that yet another innocent human being has died in Iran under the Islamic Republic╝s watch. His crime was to practice his right to assemble, as stated in the Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On Sunday July 30, the sad news came that Akbar Mohammadi, a leading student dissident, has died in prison. Akbar and his brother Manouchehr were arrested shortly after the July 1999 student demonstration. He was initially sentenced to death but later his sentence was commuted to 15 years imprisonment.
Held in notorious Evin prison, it is reported that he was on hunger strike since July 25, 2006, and prior to his death was taken to the prison hospital but was denied any medical attention. To add to this crime, the authorities of the Ministry of Intelligence arrested his elder parents, upon their return from Turkey where they had gone to visit their other son.
Honorable Secretary General,
While all attentions have been focused on the Iranian Nuclear program, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues its horrific violations of human rights. This is the third publicly admitted death in custody under the Iranian judicial system in recent years. Two years ago a Canadian Journalist Zahra Kazemi was also found dead after being allegedly beaten by prison interrogators. As we write this appeal many other dissidents and prisoners of conscience are in detention and we are very concerned about their life; people like Manouchehr Mohammadi, Ahmad Batebi, Nasser Zarafshan, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, Mansour Osanlou, Akbar Mosavi Khoeini, and Ramin Jahanbegloo just to name a few.
We are appealing to you because we expect you to take action and send a delegation to visit the prisons in Iran and demand the Islamic Republic of Iran to release all the prisoners of conscience it is holding.
Honorable Mr. Secretary,
World is watching and time is running out for others. Please act NOW!
Cc: Madam Justice Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Human Rights Watch