Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani, lawyer arrested and incommunicado detention

Re: Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani, lawyer arrested and incommunicado detention

To: Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei

From: Hugh Gwillim, LRWC Member

Date: 2009-08-04

1.0 I am writing to follow up on our letters of June 18, 2009 and July 20, 2009. LRWC draws to your attention the continuing violations of the internationally protected rights of lawyer Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani. Mr. Soltani is now held in section 209 of Evin Prison. We have not received any response to our appeals that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran act immediately to ensure that:

a. Mr. Soltani’s physical and psychological integrity is guaranteed including his access to a lawyer and to adequate and safe living conditions and treatment;
b. Mr. Soltani’s whereabouts are made public;
c. Mr. Soltani is immediately and unconditionally released; and
d. acts of persistent harassment against Mr. Soltani cease.

1.1 Mr. Soltani was arrested in front of his home by four plain clothes policemen on June 16, 2009. Mr. Soltani has been continually harassed by state agents and is a prominent member of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD). The CHRD was created by noble laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi. The CHRD was summarily shut down by authorities in December 2008.

2.0 The harassment and detention of Mr. Soltani contravenes International and Iranian laws.

2.1 The government’s action is in contravention of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Section 1, which states,

“Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.”

2.2 The applicable portions of the Iranian Constitution are the following:

Article 22, which states,
“The dignity, life, property, rights, residence, and occupation of the individual are inviolate, except in cases sanctioned by law.”

Article 32, which states,
“No one may be arrested except by order and in accordance with the procedure laid down by law. In case of arrest, charges with the reasons for accusation must, without delay, be communicated and explained to the accused in writing, and a provisional dossier must be forwarded to the competent judicial authorities… The violation of this article will be liable to punishment in accordance with the law.”

2.3 The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly has provisions that apply as follows:

Article 1, which states,
Everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels.”

Article 5(c), which states,
“Everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, at the national and international levels, […] to communicate with non-governmental or intergovernmental organizations.”

Article 12.2, which states,
“The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”

It is critical that LRWC receive a response outlining the actions being taken by your government to remedy past and prevent future violations of Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani’s rights and security.

LRWC will continue to monitor Mr. Soltani’s situation on a daily basis.