Monday, 21 March 2011

Successful conference on Women's Rights, Religion and Secularism

The 12 March international conference on Women's Rights, Religion and Secularism to mark International Women's Day which Iran Solidarity co-sponsored was a great success! Below are a few speeches from the conference, for the complete collection of speeches go to our page here

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Long live International Women's Day!

 Today thousands of women and men are on the streets of Tehran and other cities to mark International Women's Day and to protest against the Islamic regime of gender apartheid.

We stand in solidarity with the people in Iran, their courage and their determination; we support them in their struggle for equality. On the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, equality for women in Iran and too many other places is still not a reality.

Thus we can only look with utter disbelief and disgust at the UN having given the Islamic regime of Iran a seat on the UN commission on the status of Women.

After 100 years of celebrating international women's day, the very organ that is supposed to ensure women's equality and their advancement in the world invites a regime that has shown nothing but misogyny for the last 32 years to determine women's fate on a global level.

If the Libyan regime is (rightly) thrown out of the Human Rights council because of its actions over the last weeks, then the Iranian regime must be thrown out of UN Women for its track record over the last 32 years. By having governments such as the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Women organisation, the UN is making a mockery of those who stand up for women's rights and equality and who are being brutally and bloodily suppressed for it by the very regimes that get recognition from the UN.

There is no alternative but to kick the regime out immediately.

In its place should come a delegation of Iranian women’s rights defenders that represent the people in Iran and their demands.

When the UN welcomes regimes of gender apartheid in its halls and hands power to them, equality for millions of women becomes ever harder to obtain.

Join us to mark International Women's Day

Join us to mark the centenary of International Women’s Day at an International Conference on Women’s Rights, Sharia Law and Secularism this Saturday, 12 March 2011.

University of London Union, The Venue, Malet Street, London WC1E
(Closest Underground: Russell Square, Goodge Street)

10.00-19.00 (Registration begins at 10am for a 1030am start)

Speakers include:
Ahlam Akram, Executive Committee member of the Arab Jewish Forum and Joint Action for Israeli Palestinian Peace (UK)
Helle Merete Brix, Writer and Commentator on free speech and the rise of political Islam (Denmark)
Philipp Bekaert, Member of Réseau d'Actions pour la Promotion d'un Etat Laïque (Belgium)
Julie Bindel, Journalist and Campaigner to end violence against women and children (UK)
Patty Debonitas, Spokesperson of Iran Solidarity (UK)
Nadia Geerts, Co-founder of Réseau d’Action pour la Promotion d’un Etat laïque (Belgium)
A C Grayling, Philosopher and Author (UK)
Maria Hagberg, Chairperson of the Network Against Honour-Related Violence (Sweden)
Anne-marie Lizin, Honorary Speaker of the Belgian Senate and Coordinator of the Association against Honour Crimes and Forced Marriages (Belgium)
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of One Law for All, Equal Rights Now and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (UK)
Elizabeth O’Casey, Vice-President of the National Secular Society (UK)
David Pollock, President of the European Humanist Federation (UK)
Fariborz Pooya, Director of Iranian Secular Society (UK)
Yasmin Rehman Campaigner against violence against women and for community cohesion (UK)
Gita Sahgal, Writer, Journalist and Women's Rights Activist (UK)
Nina Sankari, President of the European Feminist Initiative (Poland)
Sohaila Sharifi, Women’s Rights Activist (UK)
Annie Sugier, Cofounder of the League of Women’s International Rights (France)
Michèle Vianès, President of Regards de Femmes (France)
Anne Marie Waters, Spokesperson of One Law for All (UK)

There will also be a showing of Ghazi Rabihavi’s play Stoning - ‘A very strong and powerful piece of work, beautifully constructed’ as described by Harold Pinter.

Entry fee: £10 individuals; £3 unwaged and students.
To book a space at the conference, visit here.

You can register at the door on the day but pre-registration via email or telephone is preferred.

Schedule of the day:

1000-1030 Registration
1030-1040 Opening Keynote
1040-1220 Religion’s Impact on Women’s Rights (A discussion on whether religion is compatible with women’s rights, the limits of religious freedom and the intrusion of culture, religion and tradition on women’s status)
1220-1225 On the Alliance for a Secular Europe
1225-1405 Religion and Secularism (A discussion on whether religion and secularism are interdependent, complimentary or contradictory)
1405-1520 Lunch
1520-1700 Religion and the Law (A discussion on religion’s intrusion in the law and on the importance of secularism)
1700-1720 Tea/Coffee Break
1720-1850 Stoning, A play by Ghazi Rabihavi
1850-1900 Closing Address

The Conference is sponsored by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, International Committee against Stoning, Iran Solidarity, Equal Rights Now and One Law for All.

For more information, contact:
One Law for All, BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 7719166731

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Call to save the life of lawyer Houtan Kian and Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Urgent Action: Iran

Call to save the life of lawyer Houtan Kian and Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
2 March 2011
The Islamic Republic of Iran has sentenced Houtan Kian, the lawyer of Iran stoning case Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, to death by hanging. He had received four consecutive death sentences. Three were revoked; the fourth has been upheld. Reliable reports received by the International Committee against Stoning confirm this fact.
Houtan Kian was arrested in October 2010 along with Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son, and two German journalists during an interview. Whilst the latter three have been released, Houtan Kian faces imminent execution. Moreover Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s death sentence has been confirmed. Upon hearing the news, it is reported that Sakineh attempted suicide but survived.
We are outraged at these heinous sentences of death and are calling for urgent action to stop their executions and secure their immediate and unconditional release. They have done nothing wrong. Houtan Kian’s only crime has been to defend a woman facing death by stoning. Sakineh’s only crime has been to be a woman in the Islamic Republic of Iran and under Sharia law.
Only strong international pressure will and must save them and the many others awaiting their death in the execution capital of the world.
Mina Ahadi, Coordinator of the International Committees against Stoning and Execution
Patty Debonitas, Spokesperson of Iran Solidarity
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of One Law for All
Write, call, fax, and email officials demanding an end to the executions and the immediate and unconditional release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and her lawyer, Houtan Kian.
You can contact the embassies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, foreign ministries in your country of residence, MPs and MEPs, the Islamic regime’s judiciary, the UN, EU and others.
You can also do an act of solidarity in a town centre to highlight their case, take action via social networking sites and raise the banner of ‘Free Houtan Kian and Sakineh’ and ‘End Executions and Stoning Now’ at upcoming International Women’s Day events.
Please send copies of any protest letters, actions and emails, and acts of solidarity to
For more information contact: Mina Ahadi,, Tel: +49 (0) 1775692413 or Patty Debonitas,, Tel: +44 (0) 7507978745.
Below are some of contact details that may be useful:

Working group on arbitrary detention:
Human rights & international solidarity
EU Foreign Affairs High Representative
Islamic Republic of Iran
Head of the Judiciary
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, Iran
Email: or via website:
First starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address

Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Iran
via website: (English) (Persian)

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986
Foreign Ministries
Bosnia & Herzegovina:
Czech Republic:
Human Rights Office
USA: : (online form)
Bureau of Democracy & Human Rights Kathy Stewart

Foreign embassies in Iran
Afghani Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (00) (98) (21) 88735040, 88737050, 88737531
Fax: (00) (98) (21) 88735600
Armenian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (98 21) 66704838
(98 21) 66704833
Fax: (98 21) 66700657
Australian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98 21 8386 3666
Fax: 98 21 8872 0484
Austrian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (+98/21) 22 75 00-38
(+98/21) 22 75 00-40
(+98/21) 22 75 00-42
Fax: (+98/21) 22 70 52 62
Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (9821) 22 21 51 91/ 25 54
Fax: : (9821) 22 21 75 04
Bangladeshi Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98-21-88063073 to 76, 88059481
Fax: +98-21-8803 9965
Belarusian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (+98 21) 2270 88 29
Fax: (+98 21) 2271 86 82
Belgian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: + (98) (21) 22 04 16 17
Fax: + (98) (21) 22 04 46 08
Bosnian Embassy in Teheran, Iran
Phone: + (98 21) 8808 69 29
+ (98 21) 8808 69 30
Fax: + (98 21) 8809 21 20
Brazilian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (9821) 22753108-9 22752711 22753110
Fax: (9821) 2274-4009
Bulgarian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (009821) 8877-5662
(009821) 8877-5037
Fax: (009821) 8877-9680
Canadian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (011 98 21) 8152-0000
Fax: (011 98 21) 8873-3200
Chinese Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: 009821-22291240
Fax: 009821-22291243
Croatian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: 0098 21 258 9923
0098 21 258 7039
Fax: 0098 21 254 9199
Czech Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: 98 21 - 2288149
98 21 - 2288153
Fax: 98 21 2802079
Danish Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: + 98 (21) 2260 13 63 or + 98 (21) 2260 70 20
Fax: + 98 (21) 2264 00 07
Finnish Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98-21-2220 7090, 2223 0979
Fax: +98-21-2221 0948
French Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: + 00 98 21 64 09 4000
Fax: + 00 98 21 64 09 40 92/93
Georgian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: + (98 21) 2260-41-54
Fax: + (98 21) 2260-97-65
German Embassy in Teheran, Iran, Iran
Phone: (0098 21) 39 99 00 00
Fax: (0098 21) 39 99 18 90
Greek Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (009821) 2050533, 2053784
Fax: (009821) 2057431
IndiaIndian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: 00-98-21-8755105-7
Fax: 00-98-21-8755973
Indonesian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (98-21) 8871-6865, 8871-7251, 8855-3655
Fax: (98-21) 8871-8822
Irish Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98-21-22803835 (08.30-16.30 Sun-Thurs); +98-21-22297918
Fax: +98-21-22286933
Italian Embassy in Teheran, Iran
Phone: 98 21 672 6955
Fax: 98 21 672 6961
Kenyan Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: + 98 21 22049355/22023234
Fax: + 98 21 22048619/ 22025792
MalaysiaMalaysian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (+9821) 2240 4081/3
Fax: (+9821) 2241 7921
Malian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (+98-21) 88720810
Mexican Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (9821) 2205-7586 a 88, *2205-7590*, 2201-2920/21
Fax: (9821) 2205-7589
Dutch Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: 0935 2111299
New Zealand Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98-21-2612-2175 or +44-20-7316-8972 via London
Fax: +98-21-2612-1973 or +44-20-7316-8954 via London
Norwegian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (+9821) 2229 1333
Fax: (+9821) 2229 2776
Pakistani Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98 21 6694489, +98 21 6694488
Fax: +98 21 66944898
Philippine Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (+9821) 2266-8774 to 76
Fax: (9821) 2266-8990
Polish Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98.21.8878.7262
Fax: +98.21.8878.8774
Russian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98 21 6670-1161, 6670-1173
Fax: +98 21 6670-1652
Serbian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (+98-21)-2412569 /+98-21-2412570/+98-21-2412571
Fax: +98-21-2402869
Slovak Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: 0098-21 / 22 41 11 64
Fax: 0098-21 / 22 40 97 19
Slovenian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Embassy of Slovenia in Iran
Phone: +98-21-2802223
Fax: +98-21-2282131
South African Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: + 98 21 270 2866-9
Fax: + 98 21 271 9516
Korean Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98-21-8054900
Fax: +98-21-8054899
Spanish Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: + 681 / 682 / 683 / 684
Fax: +
Sri Lankan Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: 0098 21 22569179
Fax: 0098 21 22540924
Swedish Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98-21-2371 2200/+98-21-2371 2200
Fax: +98-21-222 964 51/+98-21-222 860 21
Syrian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (+98-21) 2059031/2, 2052780
Fax: (+98-21) 2059409
Turkish Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (+98-21)-3118997 / 3115299 / 3115351
Fax: +98-21-3117928
Ukrainian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98-21-8034119 / +98-21-8008530
Fax: +98-21-8007130
British Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: (98) (21) 6405 2000/(00 98 21) 6405 2264/11316-91144
Fax: (98) (21) 6405 2289/(00 98 21) 6405 2273
Venezuelan Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Phone: +98-21-2205 1955 / 8871 5185 / 8871 2840
Fax: +98-21-2202 0584

Islamic Republic of Iran’s embassies
Iranian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan
Phone: 0093-2101391 - 5
Fax: 0093-2101397
Iranian Embassy in Yerevan, Armenia
Iranian Embassy in Canberra, Australia
City: Canberra
Phone: (+61) 2 6290 2427, 2 6290 7000
Fax: (+61) 2 6290 2825, 2 6290 2825
Iranian Embassy in Vienna, Austria
Phone: +431+7122657
Fax: +431+7135733
Iranian Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil
Phone: (61) 3242-5733
Fax: (61) 3242-5733
Iranian Embassy in Ottawa, Canada
Phone: (613) 235-4726
Iranian Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark
Phone: + 45 +39160003
Fax: + 45 +39160075
Iranian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Phone: 200794 - 712012
Iranian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland
Phone: +358-9-6869 240
Fax: +358-9-6869 2410
Iranian Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 69 56 000 739 / +49 (0) 69 56 000 740
Fax: +49 (0) 69 56 000 728
Iranian Embassy in Budapest, Hungary
Phone: 361+4609260
Fax: 361+4609430
Iranian Embassy in New Delhi, India
Phone: +91-11-23329600 / +91-11-23329601
Fax: +91-11-23325493
Iranian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia
Phone: +62-21-331378 or 33139162-21-3107860
Fax: +62-21-3107860
Iranian Embassy in Dublin, Ireland
Phone: (003531) 2885881/(003531) 2880252
Fax: (003531) 2834246
Iranian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan
Fax: +3-34489022
Iranian Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya
Phone: LOCAL: (020) 272.0343 INTERNATIONAL: +
Fax: LOCAL: (020) 271.3966 INTERNATIONAL: +
Iranian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone: 603-4251 4824/4829/4826/4830
Fax: 603-4256 2904/42532767
Iranian Embassy in Den Haag, Netherlands
Iranian Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: (04) 386 2976; (04) 386 2983; (04) 939 4536 (Consular)
Fax: (04) 939 8108
Iranian Embassy in Oslo, Norway
Phone: (+47) 23 27 29 60
Fax: (+47) 22 55 49 19
Iranian Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa
Phone: +27 (012) 342 58 80 / +27 (012) 342 58 81
Fax: +27 (012) 342 18 78
Iranian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: 46 + 8 + 63 63 600 / 46 + 8 + 63 63 630
Fax: 46 + 8 + 63 63 626
Iranian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Phone: +9712 4447618
Fax: +9712 4448714
Iranian Embassy in London, United Kingdom
Phone: (44) 020-7225 3000
Fax: ( +44)2075894440
Iranian Consulate in Caracas, Venezuela
Phone: 0058-212 9921854
Fax: 0058-212 9929989

Javid Houtan Kian’s letter from prison

The following is the translation of a letter from Houtan Kian written in Farsi from prison in Iran. Please note that a couple of pages of the original letter are missing.

In the name of the God of our fatherland, I offer my greetings.

I must occupy your valuable time because of my enforced lack of contact with the outside world and the opportunity that has arisen through [name]. I ask you to do me the favour of relaying my voice to the foreign press and websites. If you refuse or even tear up my letter, rest assured that I will not be upset, since you owe me nothing and it is not your duty to go to great lengths on my behalf. Please forgive me for inconveniencing you. You yourselves know that my mother lived in America for some time, and only came to Iran because of my arrest and is now forbidden from leaving the country or giving interviews. Furthermore, the Germans who were arrested with me are still being detained by the secret services.

Since my arrest on 10 October 2010 I was kept in solitary confinement in ward 209 of Evin prison, until 15 days ago, when I was transferred to Tabriz prison (to the ward designated for the insane and HIV-positive intravenous drug users) where I have been forbidden visitors and communication. I have also been denied visits to a doctor because of the visible signs of torture upon my body. Therefore, through my meeting with [name], the God of our fatherland has afforded me the opportunity to be heard by the outside world. Because I do not want to implicate [name], I will explain the situation further on pages 2 and 3 in my own handwriting, imploring you to relay these pages to various entities enumerated below.

  1. The US Secretary of State (after translation, and together with a copy of the text) (important).
  2. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) site (after translation, and together with a copy of the text) (important).
  3. The United Nations Human Rights Council (after translation, and together with a copy of the text) (important).
  4. Ban Ki-Moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations) (after translation, and together with a copy of the text) (important).
  5. Barack Obama (US President) (after translation, and together with a copy of the text) (important).
  6. Ms Condoleezza Rice (former US Secretary of State) (after translation, and together with a copy of the text) (important).
  7. Lawyers Without Borders (after translation, and together with a copy of the text) (important).
  8. Amnesty International (Mr Eric Dyke) (after translation, and together with a copy of the text) (important).
  9. Ms Elahe Boqrat (independent journalist) (after translation, and together with a copy of the text).
  10. Dr. Alireza Nurizadeh (translation and copy of the text).
  11. Mr Hossein Alizadeh, chief of the GAY centre (America). Lest this be misconstrued, neither I nor Mr Hossein Alizadeh are ‘gay’; that is simply the title of his designation.
  12. Ms Mina Ahadi (
  13. Le Monde (France) (after translation, and together with a copy of the text).
  14. The Guardian, London (after translation, and together with a copy of the text).
  15. The Turkish Cumhuriyet and Milliyet newspapers (after translation, and together with a copy of the text).
  16. The Italian AKI Farsi news agency (after translation, and together with a copy of the text) (important).
  17. Pope Benedict XVI (after translation, and together with a copy of the text) (important).
  18. Herana (website). (after translation, and together with a copy of the text).
  19. BBC London (after translation, and together with a copy of the text).
  20. VOA USA and Radio Farda (after translation, and together with a copy of the text) (important).
  21. CNN (USA) (after translation, and together with a copy of the text).
  22. FOX (USA) (after translation, and together with a copy of the text).
  23. CBS France and El Pais (Spain) (after translation, and together with a copy of the text).

I apologise most sincerely for the length of this list, but these will all be copies of the same texts, and I have given numerous interviews to all these organisations, who all know me well and are aware of my honesty.

I would be deeply grateful if you would distribute my open letter to organisations throughout the world regarding my situation from childhood to the present day and during my incarceration, which [name] witnessed and whose marks are still upon my body. Photographs of me are available on google images if necessary. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and remain fervently hopeful.

I will abandon courage, love and resistance; I will keep my eyes open. Though there be nothing to see but suffering and regret, I would not pay for my serenity with blindness.

Houtan Kian.

My letter follows in the pages below.

Invoking the God of our Fatherland, I offer my greetings.


I would like first of all to offer a summarised autobiography. I was born on 21 January 1974. According to a widespread Iranian (Tabrizi) tradition, my late father increased my age by one year in my birth certificate (as he did with his other children). On 14 August 1980, my father was arrested for supporting the Khalq-e Mosalman (Muslim People) party, and two days later, on 16 August 1980, he was executed by firing squad. The prosecutor who held sway and had unmitigated power in the northwest of the country was Seyyed Hossein Mousavi Tabrizi (head of the Majma’-e Rouhaniun-e Mobarez – Society of Combatant Clerics, residing in Qom), who is now a black-turbaned religious scholar. After my father’s execution, this prosecutor came numerous times to court my mother through coercion and threats. My mother recorded one of this visits on a cassette, which she sent to Mr Khomeini (the founder of the Islamic Republic), but to no avail. The late Ayatollah Montazeri, on hearing the cassette, explicitly expressed his displeasure to the prosecution office pertaining to the aforementioned personage, and consequently my mother was forced to marry one of the Imperial Guards (Immortals), Col. Amir Hossein Qasempur. The final chapter of the tale of Mousavi Tabrizi’s enormities, revealed during my childhood: from the prison records extracted by Col. Khosroshahi, it emerges that he was demoted to Sergeant following a charge of sodomy. (My father’s name was Majid Houtan Darzheh, known as Majid Kuzegar).

In 1993 I graduated from medical school (specialising in dentistry), ranked 64th of all graduating students of that year. Two years later, when I was an extern at the Arya hospital, I was expelled together with three friends of mine (Mohammad Tofiq, Mohammad Mehrab, and Mohammadreza Chehr). I should explain that Mohammad Tofiq is the son of Dr Tofiq who owns the Jahannama hotel in Tabriz; Mohammad Mehrab now peddles books in Sa’at Square in Tabriz, where the municipal building is; and Mohammadreza Chehr is the son of the owner of the Chehr bookshop who was executed on political charges. As for me, I was expelled around January/February 1995 by the head of the Shahid Beheshti (Melli) University Disciplinary Committee, Haddad ‘Adel. This was when Dr Haddad ‘Adel was head of the Centre for Persian Language and Literature. In order to continue my studies, I was forced to obtain a new birth certificate in the name of my stepfather.

In accordance with Iranian laws, because of my expulsion I was banned for studying at the university for two years. The reason for my expulsion was my publication of two books. The first was called Collected Socio-political Essays (published by Amir Kabir). It dealt with the struggle to counteract superstition and reveal the brutality cloaked in Islam and the true nature of the Islamic Republic. It contained 47 essays written by four authors. The second was called Solitary Dialogues (published by Talash). It was sociological and dealt with backwardness; I was its sole author.

During that year, in my time of tribulation I represented myself in the revolutionary court, headed by the cleric Haj Fazel, and began to study the law; of course, my father’s fate increased my motivation in this field. Regarding the two aforementioned books, in accordance with existing laws, I was initially condemned to death, but because I was under 18, I was sent to a juvenile reformatory and the sentence was commuted to seven months’ incarceration and flogging.

In 1999 I consulted with Shahram Jazayeri Arab, and was acquitted of all charges.

From 2001 I began working as a lawyer. Because I had obtained some inheritance from my mother, I took no money from most of my clients. As demonstrated from the available records (archive of court files and rulings and so on), most of my cases, because of my fields of specialisation (penal law and criminology), were political or related to murder, stoning, execution and so forth.

In July 2010, following the recommendation of the Judiciary because of my proficiency, I accepted to be the court-appointed defence lawyer of Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. I even paid all the requisite fees as well as her children’s rent and mortgage and other expenses between July 2010 until late October, when I was arrested.

In mid-August a Swedish journalist arrived in Tabriz. Her interpreter introduced himself as Ebrahim, and because of his insistence on interviewing me and some of the things he said, I became suspicious of his motives and refrained from associating with him. The fifth or sixth time that he called me insisting on an interview, I asked him to stop contacting me. Unfortunately, Mr Sajjad Qaderzadeh, encouraged by his mother from prison, granted him an interview that was entirely favourable to the Islamic Republic and the justifiability of stoning in Islam and in his mother’s case. (The text of his interview is in the possession of Ms Sima Oskuinezhad of the Committee Against Execution and Stoning in Sweden, and reported in an associated publication). It appears that the Swedish journalist was either intentionally or unintentionally misled. I conducted some research regarding the Swedish journalist and her interpreter. They were staying in the Shahryar Hotel in Tabriz, and I soon became aware that the so-called ‘Ebrahim’ was an official of the secret services called Hossein Kerbalai, whose brother is, in a manner of speaking, ‘teaching’ in New York having assumed the forged identity of ‘Kourosh Yaghmai’ (a security officer).

In any case, on 10 October 2010 I was arrested. One evening I was placed in solitary confinement in the secret service building located in Sa’eb Street. The following day, after having been informed, as explained below, of the charge against me by the interrogator of the Ministry of Intelligence in Tabriz, Mr Hashemzadeh (nephew of Hossein Shariatmadari, former interrogator and director of the Keyhan newspaper which adheres to the governmental doctrine of ‘velayat-e faqih’, the ‘rule of the jurist’), and after my home and office were sealed by the authorities and my car seized, I was conveyed by plane directly to ward 209 of Evin prison. (Since from that first moment I was bound hand and foot and blindfolded, I didn’t know whether the Germans were also transferred along with me; I should explain that later, after I was transferred to Tabriz prison on 22 January 2011, I realised that they had not been transferred to Tehran). I also became aware that from 11 November 2010 onwards, Sajjad Qaderzadeh had unfortunately been officially co-opted into collaborating with the Intelligence Ministry, to which he revealed all information at his disposal. (The case number in interrogation branch 4 is 890632).

I am kept in solitary confinement in ward 209 of Evin prison, in a new building that is approximately 100 stairs above the cellar level. All the signs of torture remain on my body, and following the orders of the interrogator of branch 4, my written entreaties have been ignored. I have been made to wear nylon underwear, and in the time of my solitary confinement in ward 209, from 11 October to 12 December 2010, I have been burned by approximately 60 cigarettes on my legs, testicles and feet (5 cigarettes there). I am only given one meal a day, in the morning; once it was a small piece of cheese, another time, three dates. I have lost 51 kilos, and twelve of my teeth have been almost completely broken by blows with boots, as has my nose, which bleeds permanently. At midnight, in cold weather, I was soaked with a fire hose and left, with hands and feet bound, in the courtyard until four in the morning, when I was taken to be interrogated. Consequently from 13 December 2010 to 10 January 2011 I was confined to a place resembling a hospital, whose location I still do not know. The marks of intravenous tubes are still visible on my arms and legs. From 12 to 22 January 2011 I was bedridden in the hospital ward of Tabriz prison, and according to the doctors there, it is miraculous that I came back to life.

I am currently in ward 7, which is designated for the quarantine of the insane and HIV-positive and hepatitis-infected intravenous drug addicts. This contravenes the regulations of the Islamic Republic’s own prison authority. The charges against me are simply that I bravely defended my client and my other clients, and caused the expulsion of four corrupt judges (Sedaqat, Bahush, Juyande and Afarin) from the court establishment.

9. The revelation of secrets and internal corruption (articles 501 and following of the Iranian penal code). Two issues. 1. The revelation of secrets (first of all, the late Zahra Kazemi, the Canadian-Iranian journalist charged with irreverence and photographing Evin prison (the prison wall from outside), was tortured and killed by Said Mortazavi. 2. The concealment of the records from the office of his friend and old university colleague, Dr Ramin Purandarjani (the doctor of Kahrizak), wherein the wife of Said Mortazavi, a doctor, described in detail the cause of death and ailments of political convicts. Purandarjani was killed with cyanide, and his family in Tabriz was not even given his corpse, which instead was buried in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery in Tehran after being kept for 60 days.

10. Given that I was forced to obtain a false birth certificate in order to continue my studies, this act was counted as a crime and added to the charges against me.

11. This act occurred many years ago when I was still a student of medicine, not law, and yet the authorities have claimed to find forged stamps and other implements of forgery, of which I truly know nothing, in my home in Tehran!

In conclusion, I am innocent, and merely because of my reports regarding the election fraud of 2009, which were conveyed to international human-rights organisations through film, photos and written documents leading to the expulsion of eight holders of high office in Mahmud Ahmadinezhad’s judicial and executive bodies, and also my difficulties with a clique of corrupt judges in