October 30, 2007

UNPO Appeals For Immediate Action

UNPO is deeply concerned about the fate Mr. Faleh Abdullah Al-Mansouri, a Dutch human rights activist of Ahwazi decent, who has been sentenced to death by Iranian authorities for “terrorist activities”, with reports suggesting he will be executed within 48 hours.

The Hague, 30 October 2007- UNPO is deeply concerned about the fate Mr. Faleh Abdullah Al-Mansouri, a Dutch human rights activist of Ahwazi decent. The family of Mr. Al-Mansouri has been informed by a Syrian human rights organization that Mr. Al-Mansouri has been sentenced to death by Iranian authorities for “terrorist activities” and they fear he will be executed within 48 hours. This latest announcement is further evidence that a long, distressing, and brutal campaign conducted by the Iranian regime against Ahwazi Arab activists is continuing, despite widespread international condemnation.

Mr. Abdullah Al-Mansouri fled Iran in 1988 and applied for asylum in the Netherlands. In 1989 he received Dutch citizenship and has been living with his family in the province of Limburg ever since. He is an active member of the Maastricht branch of Amnesty International and for his work as a human rights activist has been honored with the prestigious distinction of member in the Order of Orange Nassau, a distinction awarded to individuals for their meritorious contributions to society.

On 11 May 2006 Mr. Abdullah Al-Mansouri was traveling in Syria with a delegation of the Maastricht branch of Amnesty International on a Dutch passport, when he was arrested by Syrian authorities. On 8 August 2006, word reached the family of Mr. Al-Mansouri that five days after his arrest in Syria he had been extradited to Iran and is being detained there at an unknown location. So far, Mr. Al-Mansouri has not been allowed to contact his lawyer and only sporadically has been able to contact his family in the Netherlands.

Today, on 29 October 2007, more then a year after his extradition the family of Mr. Al-Mansouri has been informed by a Syrian human rights organization, that Mr. Al-Mansouri has been convicted on the dubious grounds of association with terrorist activities and has been sentenced to death. Reasonable fear exists that Mr. Al-Mansouri will be broadcast on Iranian national television in order to provide a forced confession, after which he will be executed within 48 hours.

Iran’s campaign against its religious minorities, as well as the nature of its political trials and extensive use of public executions as a weapon of fear, have been repeatedly condemned by the international community, including the European Parliament and the United Nations General Assembly. 

UNPO remains deeply concerned by the routine execution of Iran’s dissidents, strongly condemns the use of public hangings, and has repeatedly called for international action to address the deteriorating human rights situation faced by the Ahwazi Arab population of Iran.

Therefore, UNPO has appealed to various human rights bodies, Dutch government representatives, Members of European Parliament, and media sources, including:

- The Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands to The Islamic Republic of Iran
- The Ambassador of The Islamic Republic of Iran to the Kingdom of The Netherlands
- The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of The Netherlands
- The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands
- The Secretary-General of the United Nations
- The President of the United Nations Human Rights Council
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
- The  High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of The European Union, to:

- call upon the Iranian authorities to end their arbitrary and unlawful persecution of the Ahwazi Arab community and in particular their human rights defenders;

- urge the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to releases Mr. Al-Mansouri into the custody of the Kingdom of the Netherlands;

- demand of the Iranian authorities to that Mr. Al-Mansouri is granted his full catalogue of human, civil, and political rights;

- remind the Iranian authorities of their obligations under international treaties, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, as well internationally recognised standards of justice; and

- raise the issue of human rights in Your relations with representatives from the government of Iran, in particular with respect to minorities such as the Ahwazi.

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