Detention of Two Baha’is: Fear for Their Safety

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Editor’s Note:  The following urgent appeal was posted on Wednesday, 24 December 2008, by Iranian Minorities Human Right Organization (IMHRO).  To the best of our knowledge at Iran Press Watch, the Baha’i institutions have not called for any urgent action in this regard.

Incommunicado detention/ Fear for safety

OMCT urgent appeals

The International Secretariat of the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Iran.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source and Antenna International, member organization of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the arrest by security agents and incommunicado detention of two Baha’is, namely Mr. Masoud Ataian and Mr. Anvar Moslemi, in the province of Mazandaran.

According to the information received, Mr. Masoud Ataian was detained in his home in Qa’emshahr by Intelligence Ministry officials on 17 November 2008, without showing warrants or giving reasons for his arrest. Led by an agent called Mr. Movahed, the officials searched his home, destroyed sacred pictures and confiscated holy texts, his computer and business documents. He is currently being detained in the Intelligence Office at Qu’amshahr. He was reportedly able to have a brief contact with his family but he has not been given access to a lawyer yet.

Mr. Anvar Moslemi was reportedly detained on 23 November 2008 in Sari. His current whereabouts could not be ascertained.

According to the information received, within the past year three other Baha’is have been taken into custody in Mazandaran. Mr. Tarazollah Allahverdi and his wife Ms. Sonya Tebyanian were detained on 17 October 2008 in Behshahr. Mr. Siamak Ebrahimi, detained and released two years ago, was again detained on 4 November 2008 in Tonekaban. He was sentenced to six months in prison and two years exile in the city of Zabol, over 1100 km away from his home.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concern with regard to the incommunicado detention of Mr. Masoud Atain and Mr. Anvar Moslemi. OMCT recalls that incommunicado detention facilitates torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. OMCT is further concerned about these detentions, which according to the information received, are consistent with a pattern of persecution and arbitrary arrest of members of the Baha’i minority in Iran. OMCT recalls to Iran that according to article 9 1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Iran urging them to:

i. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Masoud Atain and Mr. Anvar Moslemi;

ii. Guarantee immediate and unconditional access to legal representation, their family and any medical treatment they may require;

iii. Order their immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards, and if such charges exist, to ensure that they are given a prompt and fair trial, in which their procedural rights are guaranteed at all times;

iv. Order a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of these events, notably the allegations of torture, in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;

v. Guarantee that adequate reparation is awarded to Mr. Masoud Atain and Mr. Anvar Moslemi;

vi. Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with international human rights standards.


  • Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98.21.649.5880 / 21.774.2228, Email: [email protected] / [email protected] / [email protected];
  • President, His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.649.5880, E-mail: [email protected];
  • Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98.21.879.6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567, Email: [email protected];
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mr. Manuchehr Motaki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Av, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.390.1999, Email: [email protected];
  • Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email: [email protected];
  • Ambassador Mr. Ahani, Embassy of Iran in Brussels, avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 15 A. 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email: [email protected].

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Iran in your respective country.

Geneva, 17 December 2008

Kindly inform us [OMCT] of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.



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