Amnesty International: Omid Alishenas Must Be Released

23 June 2017


Iranian human rights defender Omid Alishenas has been detained in Tehran’s Evin prison in poor conditions for more than six months. He is serving a seven-year prison sentence for his peaceful human rights work, which includes campaigning against the death penalty. He is a prisoner of conscience.

Omid Alishenas, 33, has been held in Section 7 of Evin prison since mid-December 2016. He was forced to sleep on the floor for over a month during the winter, when temperatures in Tehran can fall to as low as -5ºC, before receiving a bed, and he now shares an overcrowded room with 20 other prisoners. Omid Alishenas is also compelled to purchase food at his own expense in order to seek to have a more balanced diet since the meals provided by the prison lack sufficient fruit or vegetables. These conditions correspond with other reports Amnesty International has received in the last year about Section 7, some of which indicate that it is infested with cockroaches and mice. Omid Alishenas was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards on 11 December 2016 from his home and taken to Evin prison to begin serving a seven-year prison sentence. Prior to his arrest, he had never received a formal summons to begin serving his prison sentence.

Omid Alishenas was initially sentenced by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran to 10 years’ imprisonment in May 2015 after the court convicted him of “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security” and “insulting the Supreme Leader”. The verdict listed the following peaceful activities as “evidence” of criminal activity: participation in a gathering in front of the United Nations office in Tehran in solidarity with the people of Kobani in Syria; distributing pamphlets against the death penalty; writing posts on Facebook describing the mass execution of political prisoners in the 1980s as inhumane; associating with “troublesome agents” (a reference to human rights activists); and visiting memorials of those killed during the 2009 unrest, referred to in the court verdict as “seditionists”. The verdict also refers to him distributing a film called To Light a Candle, which highlights the denial of the right to higher education to Baha’i students. In September 2016, Branch 36 of the Appeals Court of Tehran reduced his sentence to seven years in prison.

Please write immediately in Persian, English, Spanish, French or your own language:

 Calling on the Iranian authorities to release Omid Alishenas immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscious, held solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly;
 Calling on them to take immediate steps to address the poor conditions of Evin prison in line with UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) and allow national and international monitors to conduct inspection visits to Evin prison;
 Reminding them of their obligation to explicitly recognize the legitimacy of human rights defenders and ensure a safe and enabling environment in which it is possible to defend and promote human rights without fear of punishment, reprisal or intimidation.


Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadeghi Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi
Above Pasteur Intersection
Vali Asr Street, Tehran, Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency

Prosecutor General of Tehran
Abbas Ja’fari Dolat Abadi
Office of the General and Revolutionary
Corner (Nabsh-e) of 15 Khordad Square
Tehran, Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
The presidency
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Iran
Twitter: @Hassan Rouhani (English)


Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 222/15. Further information:

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