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#FreeRouhaniHostages #FreeRouhaniHostages

#FreeRouhaniHostages

Over recent years the Iranian regime has continually arrested and arbitrarily detained dual and foreign nationals, often under the pretext of protecting national security or counterterrorism.

In reality, those detained are innocent of all charges and have been targeted purely to be used as political bargaining chips to further the foreign policy interests of the Iranian regime – a practice that has become known as “hostage diplomacy”.

The international community has been strong in its condemnation of the Iranian regime, with the United Nations, the European Union and national governments all taking measures to secure the release of those unjustly detained in Iran.

Yet states have typically struggled to secure the release of their citizens, negotiations are unsuccessful more often than not and ultimately the awful practice of hostage diplomacy continues.

The International Observatory of Human Rights #FreeRouhaniHostages campaign focuses on securing the release of all dual and foreign nationals in Iran, safeguarding those that find themselves detained, and incentivising the Iranian regime to pursue different approaches in their diplomatic dealings.

Foreign and Dual Nationals

Ahmadreza Djalali

Sentenced to death

Swedish-Iranian Academic
Detained: April 2016
Charges: Spreading corruption

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeAhmadreza
#FreeRouhaniHostages
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Name: Dr Ahmadreza Djalali
Nationality: Iranian/Swedish
Background: ​A scientist, physician and expert in emergency disaster medicine.
Arrested: 26 April 2016
Accused of: “Spreading corruption on earth”
Sentence: Death
Jailed: 21 October 2017
Prison held: Evin Prison but it was reported on 29 July 2019 that he had been transferred to an unknown location.
Health: Dr Djalali’s health has been deteriorating since his arrest. In addition to his ongoing crisis, he has been denied medical care continuously. It is feared that he suffers from leukemia and was scheduled to see a blood and cancer specialist at a hospital in February 2019 but prison authorities prevented him from going. He has repeatedly carried out hunger strikes throughout his period in prison and in May 2019 it was reported that he had lost 24 kg since the time of his arrest.
Recent articles:

Iran frees more than 1,000 foreign prisoners, but not VUB professor Djalali
23 April 2020 – Brussels Times

Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali pleads for support as he faces the death sentence
21 September 2020 – IOHR

Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian-Swedish scientist on death row in Iran, sends recording from prison
18 September 2020 – IOHR

Iran: Voices for Freedom
28 April 2018 – IOHR

A scholar at risk; Dr Djalali on death row in Iran
24 April 2020 – IOHR

IOHR and the family of Dr Ahmadreza Djalali seek support from European Parliamentarians for his release from imprisonment in Iran
26 June 2018 – IOHR

Members of the Council of Europe, European, Parliament, Flemish and Belgian Parliamentarians Call on Iran to Release Ahmedreza Djalali
29 June 2018 – IOHR

Swedish Academic on Death Row in Iran
26 April 2018 – IOHR

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Under house arrest

British-Iranian Project Manager, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Detained: April 2016
Charges: Allegedly plotting against the Iranian government

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeNazanin
#FreeRouhaniHostages
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Name: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Nationality: Iranian/British
Background: A charity worker with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Arrested: 3 April 2016 at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport on her way back home to London after visiting her parents.
Accused of: “Plotting to topple the Iranian regime”
Sentence: 5 years
Jailed: September 2016
Prison held: Since March 2020, on temporary furlough due to Covid-18 (under an effective house arrest at her parents house forced to wear an ankle tag). On 8 September 2020, Iranian state media said that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was facing new charges. Previously held in Evin Prison.
Health: Under stress and has carried out several hunger strikes.
Recent articles:

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe speaks of ordeal after trial postponement
13 Sept 2020 – Guardian

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, Nasrin Sotoudeh and the plight of female prisoners in Iran
14 September 2020 – IOHR

War of words between the UK and Iran Over Imprisonment of Nazanin Ratcliffe
7 January 2019 – IOHR

Nazanin freed on 3-day release: Could this be ‘the beginning of the end’?
24 August 2018 – IOHR

Families of dual-national detainees launch campaign to free them at UNGA
30 September 2019 – IOHR

British Charity Worker Nazanin Ratcliffe Jailed
18 January 2018 – IOHR

What can I do to help?

Click on one ofthe cards to share on Twitter, Facbook and WhatsApp to support the unlawfully detained dual-nationals. You will help to raise awareness ofthis issue to finally get them free.
#FreeRouhaniHostages

Kylie Moore-Gilbert

Australian Academic
Detained: September 2018
Charges: Espionage

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeKylie
#FreeRouhaniHostages
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Name: Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert
Nationality: Australian/British
Background: Working as a lecturer and researcher for Melbourne University’s Asia Institute and has published work on authoritarian governance and activism in the Middle East.
Arrested: September 2018 at Tehran Airport as she was leaving the country after attending a onference.
Accused of: Espionage
Sentence: 10 years
Jailed: October 2018
Prison held: 28 July 2020 believed transferred to Gharchak Women’s Prison (Shahr-e Rey prison, also known as “Qarchak Women’s Prison“ or Varamin prison)
Previously held in Evin Prison
Health: mental health deterioration due to isolation reported
Recent articles:

Kylie Moore-Gilbert’s supporters come out in solidarity on second anniversary of Iran detention
13 Sept 2020 – Guardian

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, Nasrin Sotoudeh and the plight of female prisoners in Iran
14 September 2020 – IOHR

British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert named as a new dual national imprisoned in Iran

16 September 2019 – IOHR

Did you know?

Iran imprisoned 30 people since 2015 unlawfully.
30 detained since 2015

Anoosheh Ashoori

British-Iranian dual-national jailed in Iran
Detained: August 2017
Charges: Spying for Mossad

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeAnoosheh
#FreeRouhaniHostages
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Name: Anoosheh Ashoori
Nationality: Iranian/British
Background: Civil engineer
Arrested: 13 August 2017 while visiting his mother.
Accused of: Espionage and for “illegitimately acquiring 33,000 euros”
Sentence: 12 years
Jailed: September 2019
Prison held: In Evin Prison
Health: Suffered from torture and has made three unsuccessful suicide attempts, one of which was a hunger strike.
Recent articles:

British-Iranian prisoner tells of coronavirus chaos in Iranian jail
13 Sept 2020 – Guardian

British-Iranian Anoosheh Ashoori speaks out about human rights abuses at Evin prison
13 July 2020 – IOHR

Wife of Anoosheh Ashoori calls for his release from Iran prison as COVID-19 runs rife
19 March 2020 – IOHR

Anoosheh Ashoori appeals to the UK government from Evin prison
18 March 2020 – IOHR

Aras Amiri

British-Iranian Council Worker
Detained: March 2018
Charges: Acting against national security

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeArasAmiri
#FreeRouhaniHostages
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Name: Aras Amiri
Nationality: Iranian with UK residency
Background: UK-based British Council employee
Arrested: March 2018 while visiting her grandmother
Accused of: Unspecified charges
Sentence: 10 years
Jailed: May 2019
Prison held: Released on furlough due to Covid-19 since April 2020. Previously held in Evin Prison. Released on bail in late May 2018 but re-arrested sometime between 23 August and 22 September 2018.
Health: Details unknown.
Recent articles:

Amnesty International Says Iran Temporarily Frees British Resident Aras Amiri
9 April 2020 – RFE/RL

Covid-19 and Iran’s imprisoned dual and foreign nationals
15 July 2020 – IOHR

Morad Tahbaz

Iran-US-UK Conservationist
Detained: January 2018
Sentance: Alleged espionage

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeMoradTahbaz
#FreeRouhaniHostages
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Name: Morad Tahbaz
Nationality: Iranian/British/American
Background: Environmentalist and co-founder of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation.
Arrested: January 2018 with at least nine environmentalists from the Persian Heritage Wildlife Foundation while studying rare cheetahs.
Accused of: Espionage and “contacts with the US enemy government”
Sentence: 10 years
Jailed: November 2019
Prison held: Unknown
Health: Details unknown.
Recent articles:

On #WorldEnvironmentDay, we call for the release … (222 characters remaining)
21 September 2020 – US Department of State via Twitter

Covid-19 and Iran’s imprisoned dual and foreign nationals
15 July 2020 – IOHR

Families of dual-national detainees launch campaign to free them at UNGA
30 September 2019 – IOHR

Is Iran willing to come back to the table with the US to discuss more prisoner swaps?
18 June 2020 – IOHR

Siamak Namazi

Iran-US Businessman
Detained: July 2015
Charges: Espionage

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeSiamakNamazi
#FreeRouhaniHostages
View More
Name: Siamak Namazi
Nationality: Iranian/American
Background: Head of an oil and gas company based in the United Arab Emirates, son of Baquer Namazi who is also a dual national imprisoned in Iran.
Arrested: 13 October 2015
Accused of: Collaborating with a foreign government
Sentence: 10 years
Jailed: 17 October 2016
Prison held: Evin Prison
Health: Details unknown.
Recent articles:

Iran Says It’s Willing To Exchange ‘All’ Prisoners With U.S.
21 September 2020 – RFE/RL

Covid-19 and Iran’s imprisoned dual and foreign nationals
15 July 2020 – IOHR

Families of dual-national detainees launch campaign to free them at UNGA
30 September 2019 – IOHR

Is Iran willing to come back to the table with the US to discuss more prisoner swaps?
18 June 2020 – IOHR

Kamran Ghaderi

Austrian-Iranian Businessman
Detained: January 2016
Charges: Espionage and co-operating with a hostile state

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeKamran
#FreeRouhaniHostages
View More
Name: Kamran Ghaderi
Nationality: Iranian/Austrian
Background: ​CEO of an Austrian IT management and consulting company
Arrested: 2 January 2016 upon arrival at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport. He was on a routine business trip and had previously traveled to Iran on many occasions for work and business seminars.
Accused of: “Spreading corruption on earth”
Sentence: 10 years
Jailed: 17 October 2016
Prison held: Evin Prison
Health: Needs ongoing medical care for a tumour in his left leg.
Recent articles:

Iran: Tortured Prisoner Needs Medical Care: Kamran Ghaderi
16 September 2019 – Amnesty International

Covid-19 and Iran’s imprisoned dual and foreign nationals
15 July 2020 – IOHR

Families of dual-national detainees launch campaign to free them at UNGA
30 September 2019 – IOHR

Fariba Adelkhah

Under house arrest

French-Iranian Academic
Detained: June 2019
Charge: Spreading propaganda

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeFariba
#FreeRouhaniHostages
View More
Name: Fariba Adelkhah
Nationality: Iranian/French
Background: Anthropologist and researcher at Sciences Po university in Paris, specialising in Shiite Islam.
Arrested: June 2019
Accused of: Espionage and propaganda
Sentence: 6 years (5 years for conspiring against national security and 1 for propaganda)
Jailed: 16 May 2020
Prison held: Temporarily released from prison with an electronic ankle bracelet in October 2020.
Previously in Evin Prison.
Health: Details unknown.
Recent articles:

Fariba Adelkhah: French-Iranian academic temporarily released in Iran
3 October 2020 – BBC

Iran sentences French-Iranian academic to six years in prison on bogus national security charges
18 May 2020 – IOHR

French academic Fariba Adelkhah jailed in Iran: consular access denied
16 July 2019 – IOHR

Shahram Shirkhani

Lawyer
Jailed: August 2020
Charges: Espionage

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeShahram
#FreeRouhaniHostages
View More
Name: Shahram Shirkhani
Nationality: Iranian/British
Background: ​Lawyer
Arrested: Unknown
Accused of: Espionage
Sentence: 10 years
Jailed: 11 August 2020
Prison held: Unknown
Health: Details unknown
Recent articles:

Two Iranians sentenced to 10 years for spying
11 August 2020 – BBC

Iran announces incarceration of Shahram Shirkhani and Masud Mosaheb in latest arrests of dual-nationals
12 August 2020 – IOHR

Massud Mossaheb

Secretary-General of the “Austrian-Iranian Society”
Detained: January 2019
Charges: Espionage

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeMassud
#FreeRouhaniHostages
View More
Name: Massud Mossaheb
Nationality: Iranian/Austrian
Background: Secretary-General of the Vienna-based “Austrian-Iranian Society,” which reportedly promotes diplomacy between the two countries, turned 73 in May 2020.
Arrested: January 2019
Accused of: Espionage
Sentence: 10 years
Jailed: 11 August 2020
Prison held: Evin Prison
Health: Pre-existing health issues have worsened.
Recent articles:

Two Iranians sentenced to 10 years for spying
11 August 2020 – BBC

Covid-19 and Iran’s imprisoned dual and foreign nationals
15 July 2020 – IOHR

Iran announces incarceration of Shahram Shirkhani and Masud Mosaheb in latest arrests of dual-nationals
12 August 2020 – IOHR

Baquer Namazi

Businessman and former UNICEF official
Detained: 22 February 2016
Charges: Collaborating with a foreign government

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeBaquer
#FreeRouhaniHostages
View More
Name: Baquer Namazi
Nationality: Iranian/American
Background: A businessman and former UNICEF official, father to Siamiak Namazi who is also a dual national imprisoned in Iran.
Arrested: 22 February 2016 while visiting his imprisoned son
Accused of: Collaborating with a foreign government
Sentence: 10 years
Jailed: 17 October 2016
Prison held: Currently released on medical furlough but unable to leave Iran, previously held in Evin Prison.
Health: Details unknown.
Recent articles:

Leading Iranian human rights advocate freed from prison amid fear of contracting coronavirus behind bars
8 October 2020 – Washington Post

Covid-19 and Iran’s imprisoned dual and foreign nationals
15 July 2020 – IOHR

Is Iran willing to come back to the table with the US to discuss more prisoner swaps?
18 June 2020 – IOHR

Families of dual-national detainees launch campaign to free them at UNGA
30 September 2019 – IOHR

Kameel Ahmady

Released on bail

Academic and scholar
Detained: August 2019
Charges: Unknown

I call on the Iranian government to
#FreeKameel
#FreeRouhaniHostages
View More
Name: Kameel Ahmady
Nationality: Iranian/British
Background: Academic and scholar working on field social anthropology with particular focus on gender, children, ethnic minorities and child labour.
Arrested: August 2019
Accused of: Unknown
Sentence: Unknown
Jailed: Unknown
Prison held: Released on bail in November 2019, previously held in Evin Prison.
Health: Details unknown
Recent articles:

Iran releases detained British-Iranian academic on bail
21 November 2019 – Times of Israel

Did you know?

  • … that Iran has jailed up to 30 dual-nationals since 2015.
  • … that the Iranian government doesn’t recognise dual nationality.
  • … that all known dual nationals detained in Iran are dual citizens of Western countries.
  • … that the dual and foreign nationals detained in Iran have already spent over 8000 days in prison collectively.*

#FreeRouhaniHostages latest news

French academic Fariba Adelkhah jailed in Iran: consular access denied

A French-Iranian academic has been detained in Iran and the French government has demanded immediate consular access. The French foreign ministry called on the Iranian authorities to “shed full light” on Fariba Adelkhah’s situation and allow diplomats to visit her. Adelkhah is best known for her book “Being Modern in Iran”, about changes in the country after the 1979 Islamic revolution. … Read more →

Petition the Government in Canada to Call for the Release of Saeed Malekpour Unjustly Jailed in Iran

A petition has been issued to the government of Canada on the case of Saeed Malekpour, the unjustly detained Iranian-Canadian permanent resident. Saeed has now been imprisoned in Iran for over 10 years on trumped up charges. Initiated by Maryam Malekpour, Saeed’s sister, now a Canadian citizen, the petition calls for his release and reaffirms the Canadian government’s recognition of Iranian human rights violations. … Read more →

Nizar Zakka jailed in Iran shuns Lebanese regime on his birthday

Lebanese-US citizen Nizar Zakka, who has been held in Iran for 3 years on spurious charges of spying, has lamented that the Lebanese state seems to be in “full coma” over his continued imprisonment in Iran. On celebrating his birthday in prison Mr Zakka thanked the Iranian political prisoners who are jailed with him “underground” for celebrating his birthday. … Read more →

Iran Human Rights Rapporteur: “International Human Rights Law must be at the heart of response”

The new UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, Professor Javaid Rehman, has issued his first report to the General Assembly since he took on the new role in July this year. Professor Rehman has said that challenges in Iran, ‘should be met by a constructive response which places international human rights law at its heart.’ He continued with hopes of “building on the cordial cooperation” extended to him thus far through “constructive engagement” with Iran. … Read more →

Nazanin freed on 3-day release: Could this be ‘the beginning of the end’?

After 872 long days in an Iranian prison, Nazanin Ratcliffe has been permitted leave of 3 days to spend time with her family. Nazanin’s husband Richard was called on Thursday morning and was notified that she would be released for 3 days. Mr Ratcliffe said that his wife was given 10 minutes notice on Thursday morning before being released. On speaking to his wife as she left the prison, he said that her release was a “happy surprise”. … Read more →

Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Faces New Charges: Rights Defenders in Iran Under Threat

Nasrin Sotoudeh, the prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, faces new charges after being held in an Iranian jail for the last 2 months. Detained under national security charges since June 2018 when Nasrin was arrested and taken from her home in Tehran to Evin prison. At that time, she was issued a five-year sentence on ‘in absentia’ charges from 2016, that she knew nothing about. Her human rights campaigning work included the defence of a woman who fought for the right to remove her headscarf, as well as campaigning against the death penalty. Nasrin is now exemplary of the extent to which Iran is clamping down on human rights defenders. … Read more →

Saeed Malekpour Serving a Life Sentence in Iran

Ms. Maryam Malekpour, speaks on the details of her brother’s unjust incarceration in Iran since 2008 where he is serving a life sentence and details the torture he endured in prison. She calls for increased advocacy efforts by Canada, where her brother was working as a web programmer and a permanent resident before he was arrested. … Read more →

IOHR and the family of Dr Ahmadreza Djalali seek support from European Parliamentarians for his release from imprisonment in Iran

The International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR) invited Mrs Vida Mehrannia, the wife of imprisoned Iranian-Swedish professor Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, to Brussels and Strasbourg to appeal for an urgent intervention from diplomats and members of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe the week before President Rouhani’s visit to Austria and Switzerland. … Read more →

Iran: Voices for Freedom

IOHR organised a panel discussion in the UK Parliament to address the mass imprisonment of dual nationals in Iran. Hosted by MP Graham Jones, the event featured Iranian dual national guests Maryam Malekpour, sister of detained Canadian citizen Saeed Malekpour, and former prisoner Shiva Mahbobi. Vida Mehrannia, the wife of detained Swedish-Iranian academic on death row Ahmadreza Djalali, joined the discussion via Skype. … Read more →

Voices for Freedom – The Families of Iranian Prisoners Call for Justice in Westminster

The International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR) brings to Westminster the families of dual national prisoners held in Iran. This is the first time they will come together from all over the world to highlight the human rights violations and injustice their detained loved ones are facing. This is a call to President Rouhani to enact the Charter on Citizens’ Rights which he introduced on December 2016 to ‘recover and promote citizens’ rights. … Read more →

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