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

18th April 2018

Time: 1pm – 3.30pm
Location: 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.

Graham Jones, MP (Labour/Officer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Iran) will host the event and bring the families together with leading academics and legal experts to call for the release of the prisoners.

Speakers:

Mrs Vida Mehrannia – Wife of Swedish-Iranian Academic Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali
Ms. Maryam Malekpour – Sister of Iranian-Canadian permanent resident Saeed Malekpour
Mrs Shiva Mahbobi – Human Rights Advocate and Spokesperson for Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran
Dr. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam – Neuroscientist and Co-Founder for Iran Human Rights
Ms. Caoilfhionn Gallagher – QC Doughty street Chambers
Ms. Rana Rahimpour – BBC Persian service

Hosted By:
Graham Jones, MP and member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Iran

The families of the following prisoners will be attending:

Mr. Saeed Malekpour, a permanent resident of Canada and a web developer was arrested in in Iran in 2008. He was sentenced to death in 2012 on charges of ‘agitation against the regime’ and ‘insulting the sanctity of Islam’. His sentence was commuted to life in prison due to lack of conclusive evidence.

Dr. Ahmedreza Jalali, an Iranian-Swedish Academic and expert in Emergency Disaster Medicine was arrested on 24th April 2016 in Iran after being invited into the country to speak at a scientific workshop. On 3rd February 2017, he was sentenced to death by the Iranian Revolutionary Courts on charges of ‘espionage’ and ‘corruption on earth’.

Background
Iran is at a historical cross road. Despite the re-election of President Rouhani’s reformist administration, the Iranian public is yet to see a substantial improvement in the economic and human rights situation in the Islamic Republic. Critics of the regime are often detained and sentenced to long stretches in prison after undergoing grossly unfair trials before Revolutionary Courts.

President Rouhani introduced the Charter on Citizens’ Rights on December 19, 2016 with the aim of ‘recovering and promoting citizens’ rights’. The Charter contains 120 articles which refers to granting Iranian citizens the right to freedom of speech and provides them the right to access public information, communicate freely on cyber space and assemble and/or participate in demonstrations.

The International Observatory of Human Rights recently published a research paper titled: Prisoners as bargaining chips: Iran’s strategy of Coercion which provides an overview of the socio-economic unrest plaguing Iranian society alongside a number of case studies relating to dual-nationals currently detained in Iran. Currently than 30 Iranian dual-nationals are detained which marks a sharp increase since 2015. This includes 7 Iranian-American dual nationals, and 19 European citizens which represents a dangerous new trend.

For more information and if you would like to attend, please contact [email protected].

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