Date: September 1, 2015
His Excellency Ban-Ki Moon
Secretary General of United Nations
The United Nations
New York, NY 10017
Re: International Campaign to Prevent the Execution of Mohammad Ali Taheri and Human Rights Violations in Iran
My compatriots and I are seriously concerned about continuing human rights violations by the theocratic regime of Iran which has recently sentenced Mohammad Ali Taheri, a prominent researcher and author in the field of Interuniversalist alternative medicine, to death on the charge of ‘spreading corruption on earth’. Mr. Taheri, who is also the founder of the spiritual group ‘Erfan Halqeh’, was first arrested in 2010 on wrongful charges of acting against national security. After being released for a brief period, he was arrested for a second time in May 2011, and convicted to five years for blasphemy, 74 lashes and monetary fines. Mr. Taheri has endured difficult conditions in the solitary confinement, hunger strike, and deteriorating health conditions in the notorious Evin prison. Mr. Taheri’s sentencing to death has been condemned by Iranians around the world, international human rights organizations, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
It is with a great sense of urgency that I join my compatriots and human rights activists in a unified appeal to the international community to prevent the execution of Mr. Taheri, and to demand his immediate and unconditional release along with the discharge of his followers from Iranian prisons. Our concern extends beyond the dire human rights situation of one particular group, as ethnic and religious minorities, including Sunni Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, and the Baha’is are persecuted, imprisoned and subjected to various forms of discrimination. Most recently, the authorities in Iran have destroyed the Baha’i commentary in the Northern city of Urmia.
Whereas Iran is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which encompasses fundamental rights and freedom of individuals, including freedom of beliefs, it is incumbent upon the international community to remind the theocratic regime of Iran of its moral commitments and obligations to human rights. We appeal to the international community for urgent actions to facilitate the immediate release of all prisoners of conscience in Iran. With our strong belief in secularism, the Iran National Council denounces ongoing human rights violations in the name of religion. Iranians across the political spectrum envision a secular democratic Iran where they can live freely from religious and political persecution and enjoy equal rights under the law, in adherence to the principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
I thank you sincerely for your consideration and offer my unconditional assistance on this urgent matter.
President of the National Council of Iran for Free Elections
- Ms Navi Pillay,
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Ahmed Shaheed,
UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,
- Seong-Phil Hong,
Chair-Rapporteur, The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
- Gabriela Knaul,
Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
- Ms Rashida Manjoo,
Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequence
- David Kaye,
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
- Mr Salil Shetty, Secretary
General of the Amnesty International,