Sunday, May 31, 2015

Canadian permanent resident Mostafa Azizi to stand trial on June 1st


 Canadian permanent resident Mostafa Azizi to stand trial on June 1st

PEN Canada calls on the Government of Iran to drop all charges against writer and film producer Mostafa Azizi and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

Canadian permanent resident Mostafa Azizi, former chair of the Iran chapter of the International Animated Film Association, was detained by Iranian authorities on February 1, 2015, and is being held in Evin Prison. Azizi travelled to Iran in late December 2014 to visit his father who had been ill. He is facing charges of “insulting Iran’s Supreme Leader”, “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, “spreading propaganda against the system” and “gathering and colluding against national security”.  Though no further details have been offered by Iranian authorities, the charges apparently stem from Azizi peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, including posting on Facebook and other social media sites.
The first 33 days of Azizi’s detainment was spent in Section 2A of Evin Prison, 14 days of which were in solitary confinement with no access to his family and lawyer. After being interrogated, he was moved to Section 8 of Evin Prison, which houses hundreds of prisoners, including prisoners of conscience. Prisoners in Section 8 are believed to be held in severely overcrowded, poorly ventilated, and filthy cells, which are infested with insects and lack adequate sleeping and sanitation facilities. Azizi suffers from a number of pre-existing health conditions, including asthma, eczema, rheumatism and high blood sugar that are reportedly being aggravated by the conditions in which he is being kept. He was transferred to the prison’s medical clinic for one day on April 13, 2015 after he lost consciousness briefly. After his time in solitary confinement, Azizi has been allowed weekly visits with his family.
Mostafa Azizi will stand trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on June 1, 2015.

Please send appeals:

  • Calling on the Iranian authorities to release Mostafa Azizi immediately and unconditionally in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, if he is being held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression
  • Urging them to grant Azizi all necessary medical treatment
  • Calling on Iran to comply with its obligations under Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and treat Azizi with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person

Send appeals to:

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street,
Islamic Republic of Iran.
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri
Tehran 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran.

With copies to:

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
The Presidency
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian)

Photo Credit: Mahdi Delkhasteh via Wikipedia (Public Domain Attribution)

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