US human rights group urges release of Iranian activist

Prominent journalist faces charges that carry the death penalty, including "propaganda against the regime" and "waging war against God."

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 4, 2010 01:20
2 minute read.
Woman protests Iranian human rights violations

Iran Human Rights Protest 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

UNITED NATIONS  — A US human rights group urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to secure the release of a prominent Iranian journalist and activist who was scheduled to go on trial Saturday on charges that carry the death penalty.

The American Jewish Committee's Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights said Shiva Nazar Ahari, founder of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters in Tehran, faces "trumped-up charges" including "actions against national security" and "propaganda against the regime" for her participation in demonstrations and other human rights activism.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Anti-stoning lawyer wanted
Opinion: A global campaign for Iranian rights

Ahari is also charged with "waging war against God" for her alleged membership in the exile Mujahedeen-e Khalq Organization, which carries the death penalty. She has denied any connection to the organization, which is the militant wing of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran.

The Mujahedeen-e Khalq fought alongside Saddam Hussein's forces during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war and carried out a series of bloody bombings and assassinations in Iran during that decade, though it says it renounced violence in 2001.

According to the human rights group, Ahari was arrested on Dec. 20, 2009, and has been detained ever since at Teheran's Evin prison with little access to her lawyer and family members. She reportedly spends long periods in solitary confinement.

"UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon can help protect this remarkable advocate of justice, whose life is in danger," institute chair E. Robert Goodkind said in a statement. "He should insist that Iran respect the concerns of UN human rights bodies by promptly releasing Nazar Ahari from prison."



UN associate spokesman Yves Sorokobi said the secretary-general's office received the letter but the point person for this issue is UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Since Iran's June 2009 disputed presidential election, journalists have become a prime target in an Iranian government crackdown on the opposition. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in a report in March that at least 52 journalists are now in Iranian jails.

Last December, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution urging Iran to halt the persecution of political opponents following the election and release those still detained. It cited the "harassment, intimidation and persecution ... of opposition members, journalists and other media representatives" and many others exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

Related Content

August 14, 2018
China confirms: Millions of Uighur Muslims are in internment camps

By REUTERS