Petition for the Release of Imprisoned Journalist Bahman Ahmadi Amouee
Bahman Ahmadi Amouee who was arrested on June 20, 2009, is currently serving a 5 year mandatory prison term in Evin prison, Tehran. During this time he has spent time in solitary confinement, has been pressured, interrogated, charged with security crimes, tried and sentenced to serve 5 years in prison by the 54th Branch of the Revolutionary Courts. Moreover, he has been denied in person visits with his family and in direct contradiction to Iranian law his telephone privileges have been suspended for nearly a year without any official or reasonable explanation.
Bahman Ahmadi Amouee is one of many journalists arrested after the disputed Presidential elections in June 2009. The only crime committed by Bahman has been that of carrying out his professional responsibilities as a journalist. In other words, Bahman is a prisoner of conscience. In fact, his articles published by official papers and websites have been cited by interrogators at the Intelligence Ministry and the courts as evidence supporting charges against him, including the charge of “spreading of propaganda against the state” and “acting against national security.” Critical articles Bahman has written about the policies implemented during President Ahmadinejad’s first term have been cited as evidence in support of the charges of “insulting the President” and “spreading of propaganda against the state.” Further, Bahman’s work as the Editor of the news site “Khordad-e Noe” has been cited as evidence in support of the “charge of collusion against national security.” Specifically, the re-publication of an epic poem by the national poet Ferdowsi in “Khordad-e Noe” has also been one of the charges brought against this journalist.
We, the undersigned, request that Iranian authorizes immediately and unconditionally release prisoner of conscience Bahman Ahmadi Amouee and ask the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to follow up his case with Iranian authorities to ensure that while still in prison, he benefits from all rights guaranteed to him under Iranian and international law, including the right for telephone contact with his family, regular in person visits with family members including his wife and ill mother, prison furlough, and medical care if necessary.
We the undersigned, further urge the Iranian authorities to take solid steps in improving its human rights record and its international image, by releasing all those imprisoned after the disputed Presidential elections and observing the human rights of all those currently in prison for crimes of conscience.