Saturday 26 February 2011

Urgent Call for the immediate release of Houtan Kian and Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani; Executions imminent

PR No. 120
February 25, 2011

According to the latest news received by the International Committees against Stoning and Execution, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s judiciary has sentenced Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's lawyer, Mr. Kian, to four consecutive death sentences! Three of these have been revoked, but the fourth, which is to be execution by the method of hanging, is to be carried out. Mr. Kian has been told that his sentence will be implemented imminently.

Mr. Kian was arrested on October 10, 2010, along with two German reporters and Mrs. Ashtiani’s son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh. He was first imprisoned in Tabriz, Iran and was later moved to section 209 of the infamous Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran. Our latest news from Mr. Kian is that he has been under prolonged and severe torture, and that his body is covered with bruises and cigarette burns. He has been transferred to the prison in Tabriz, Iran where they are planning his execution.

Mr. Kian’s mother, who resides in America, is currently in Iran to help release her son; however, she has been forbidden to talk to reporters and she is not allowed to leave Iran. Her husband, Houtan's father, was executed by the Islamic Republic regime in 1981.

In a recent statement issued after the release of the two German reporters, the Islamic Republic has declared guilty and upheld the sentence for the fourth detainee, Mr. Kian.

Mr. Kian is a lawyer. He represents all political prisoners who are on death row in Iran. And his most famous client is Sakineh Ashtiani.

We ask all human rights organization, at both local and international levels, as well as all groups and individuals who have been active in advocating for Sakineh’s release, to urgently call upon the Iranian regime to immediately release both Houtan Kian and Sakineh Ashtiani.

We are very concerned and time is running out to save Houtan Kian.

International Committee against Stoning (
International Committee against Execution (
Spokesperson: Mina Ahadi 0049-177-569-2413

Translation by Soheila Nikpour

Friday 25 February 2011

Create a storm of solidarity with the people of Iran

Dear Friends & Supporters

For 21 months now we have been mobilising international support and solidarity with the people in Iran in their struggle against the Islamic regime. Thanks to you, we have been successful in keeping the struggle in people’s hearts and minds. Our work more important than ever given that the protests in Iran are continuing and so is the brutal repression, including a massive wave of executions – at least 86 since the start of this year alone.

And just now, we have heard that the Islamic regime’s Supreme Court has upheld Sakineh Ashtiani’s execution sentence. Upon hearing the news, a desperate Sakineh attempted suicide but survived. We have also received reports that her lawyer, Houtan Kian, who was arrested during an interview with her son and two German journalists some months ago, has been sentenced to death (though the two journalists have returned home).

The killing is going to continue – unless we stop it. And we can. International attention and solidarity works. We need everyone on board to stop this tsunami of executions. Please see below our letter demanding an immediate end to executions in Iran, which has already been signed by Campaigner Mina Ahadi, Scientist Richard Dawkins, Nobel Laureate Harold Kroto, and Author Salman Rushdie. Please add your name to it too.

Our work inside and outside of Iran must continue. We are co-sponsoring a conference to mark International Women’s Day in London and are inviting you to come and join us on Saturday 12 March to highlight the impact of religion on women’s rights, secularism and the law and the need for solidarity with people struggling against it. You can find out more about it below.

As the new Spokesperson for Iran Solidarity, I’d like to ask you to keep the pressure on. Join us to create a storm of solidarity that cannot be ignored. We can and must stop the executions now.

With best regards
Patty Debonitas
Iran Solidarity


1. Add your name to the letter below or email us.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is the execution capital of the world. Already in 2011, it has executed at least 86 people after unfair trials and forced confessions under torture - three times last year's rate. It is the worst rise in executions since the regime's massacre of political prisoners in the summer of 1988.

There has been one execution every 8 hours and at least 8 of those executed have been political prisoners. Some of those killed by the state include: Zahra Bahrami, 45 year old Dutch/Iranian national who was arrested during protests last year, Ali Ghorabat for apostasy and Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaie for enmity against god. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani still faces execution.

We, the undersigned, demand an immediate end to this state-sponsored murder that aims to intimidate the protest movement in Iran and call on the United Nations and governments to exert pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran for an immediate and unconditional halt to executions. A regime that slaughters its citizens must face diplomatic isolation.

Signed by: Shahla Abghari, University Professor, Human Rights and Women Rights Activist, USA; Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President & Co Founder of Stop Child Executions, Canada; Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson, International Committee against Stoning & Execution, Germany; Sayeed Ahmad, Coordinator, Ain o Salish Kendra, Bangladesh; Association Fenomena Kraljevo, Serbia; Russell Blackford, Writer and Philosopher, Australia; Caroline Brancher, UFAL, France; Helle Merete Brix, Journalist, Denmark; Roy W Brown, International Representative, International Humanist and Ethical Union; Richard Dawkins, Scientist, UK; Patty Debonitas, Spokesperson, Iran Solidarity, UK; Sanal Edamaruku, President, Rationalist International, India; Sonja Eggerickx, President, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Belgium; Caroline Fourest, Writer and Columnist, France; A. C. Grayling, Writer and Philosopher, UK; Rahila Gupta, Activist and Writer, UK; Maria Hagberg, Chairperson, Network Against Honour-Related Violence, Sweden; Trefor Jenkins, Professor Emeritus / Honorary Professorial Research Fellow, South Africa; Hope Knutsson, President, Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, Iceland; Nevena Kostic, Women for Peace, Serbia; Hartmut Krauss, Social Scientist, Germany; Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, USA; Terry Liddle, Freethought History Research Group, UK; Anne-Marie Lizin, Honorary Speaker of the Belgian Senate, Belgium; Marieme Helie Lucas, Founder, Secularism Is A Women's Issue, France; Ed McArthur, Freethought History Research Group, UK; Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, One Law For All Campaign, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, UK; Salman Rushdie, Writer, USA; Daniel Salvatore Schiffer, Philosopher and Writer, Belgium; Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society, London, UK; Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Spokesperson of the Giordano Bruno Foundation, Germany; Udo Schuklenk, Professor of Philosophy and Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics, Canada; Siba Shakib, Filmmaker and Writer, USA; Joan Smith, Writer and Activist, London, UK; Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director, American Humanist Association, USA; Annie Sugier, President, Ligue du Droit International des Femmes, France; Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner, UK; Giti Thadani, Writer and Filmmaker, India; Michele Vianes, President, Regards de Femmes, France; Eli Vieira, President, Secular Humanist League of Brazil, Brazil; and Women in Black, Belgrade, Serbia.

2. Join us at a the International Conference on Women’s Rights, Sharia Law and Secularism, which will be held at the University of London Union, The Venue, Malet Street, London WC1E, on 12 March from 1000-1900 (Registration begins at 10am for a 1030am start). For information and to register click here.

3. Please support our work! We welcome in kind and financial donations. You can donate here.

4. Get in touch and join us! Contact Patty Debonitas,, Tel: +44 (0) 7507978745
Or visit our site where you will also find contact details of our international branches. Patty Debonitas has taken over the role of Spokesperson from founder and previous Spokesperson Maryam Namazie.

Thursday 24 February 2011

12 March conference to mark International Women's Day

A reminder for anyone interested in the impact of religous laws on women's rights, sharia law and secularism - Iran Solidarity is co-sponsoring the 12 March conference in London at University of London Union to mark International Women's Day.

The conference will have sessions on 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); Religion and Secularism (A discussion on whether religion and secularism are interdependent, complimentary or contradictory); and Religion and the Law (A discussion on religion’s intrusion in the law and on the importance of secularism).

A C Grayling will deliver the keynote address.

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.

Speakers include Helle Merete Brix (Journalist); Patty Debonitas (Iran Solidarity); Nadia Geerts/ Philipp Bekaert (Rappel); Maria Hagberg (Network against Honour-related Violence); Anne-marie Lizin (Honorary Speaker of Belgian Senate); Maryam Namazie (One Law for All and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain); Elizabeth O’Casey (National Secular Society Vice President); Yasmin Rehman (Women’s Rights Activist); Gita Sahgal (Women’s Rights Campaigner); Nina Sankari (European Feminist Initiative Poland); Sohaila Sharifi (Equal Rights Now); Annie Sugier (la ligue du Droit International des Femmes); Michele Vianes (Regard des Femmes); Anne Marie Waters (One Law for All); and Linda Weil-Curiel (Lawyer).

12 March 2011, 10.00-19.00 hours, University of London Union, The Venue, Malet Street, London WC1E

Entry fee: £10 individuals; £3 unwaged and students.

For a booking form and more info go to OneLawForAll

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Sakineh Ashtiani tried to commit suicide

Sakineh Ashtiani has tried to commit suicide in prison as the supreme court in Tehran has upheld her sentence of execution by stoning. News release from International committee against Stoning, will publish English PR once released.

Sunday 20 February 2011

20 February 2011 in Iran

In Tehran people shout: 'Mubarak, Ben Ali, Seyyed Ali is next'

CNN report on today

In Shiraz people are being chased by security forces on motorbikes

Thursday 10 February 2011


Friday 11 February 2011 (22 Bahman 1389 in the Persian calendar) marks the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran Solidarity UK will join other groups outside the Iranian embassy in London to protest against 32 years of tyranny and dictatorship.

We do not recognize the legitimacy of this regime, nor the legitimacy of their embassy in London and their propaganda channel Press TV.

Shut down the embassy!

Shut down Press TV!

Join us on Friday 11 February 2011 at 6 pm outside the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran (16 Princes Gate, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1PT)!