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Iran: Appeal re abduction and arbitrary detention of Ms. Shadi Sadr

Wednesday 22 July 2009, by siawi


IRN 005 / 0709 / OBS 107

Arbitrary detention / Risk of ill-treatment and torture

July 21, 2009

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of the abduction and arbitrary detention of Ms. Shadi Sadr, a prominent lawyer, women’s rights activist working with the “One Million Signatures Campaign”, Director of Raahi (a legal advice centre for women), founder of Zanan-e Iran (the first website dedicated to the work of Iranian women’s rights activists[1]), and journalist member of Meydaan, an online newspaper on women’s issues.

According to the information received, in the morning of July 17, 2009, Ms. Shadi Sadr was approached in a crowded street by men in plainclothes as she was walking with several other women’s rights activists. They assaulted her without showing any arrest warrant, forced her into a car and beat her as she was struggling to escape. Mr. Hossein Nilchian, her husband, reported that she had called him in the afternoon and told him that she was in Section 209 of the Evin prison.

As of issuing this urgent appeal, no information could be obtained as to the reasons and conditions of her detention, as nor her family nor her lawyer were allowed to visit her.

Ms. Shadi Sadr’s arrest might be related to her constant involvement in defending women’s rights in Iran as illustrated by her participation in the “One Million Signatures Campaign”. She has also already been arrested and detained for two weeks in 2007[2] and has had numerous clashes with authorities over her outspoken stance on women’s rights and on capital punishment.

The Observatory expresses its deep concern about the arbitrary detention of Ms. Shadi Sadr and the risks of ill-treatment and torture incurred, all the more as it takes place in the context of the current general crackdown on the Iranian civil society and the systematic repression faced by women’s rights activists since 2006. The Observatory therefore calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release her as well as all human rights defenders presently detained in Iran, and more generally to put an end to all forms of harassment against civil society.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Iranian authorities and ask them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Shadi Sadr;

ii. Release Ms. Shadi Sadr immediately and unconditionally since her detention is arbitrary as it seems to merely aim at sanctioning her human and women’s rights activities;

iii. Allow her lawyer and her family members to visit her in prison;

iv. Put an end to acts of harassment - including at the judicial level - against all human rights defenders in Iran;

v. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular its article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, and its article 12.2 which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Iran.


· Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali -Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom, -Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98 21 649 5880 / 21 774 2228, Email: -info / istiftaa / webmaster

· President Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, -Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 -649 5880. Email:dr-ahmadinejad

· Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98 21 879 6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567, Email: -Irjpr

· Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Manouchehr Mottaki, Ministry of -Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Av, Tehran, Islamic -Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 390 1999, Email: matbuat

· Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chemin du Petit Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, -Email:mission.iran

· Embassy of Iran in Brussels, 15 a avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email: -iran-embassy

Please also write to diplomatic representations of the Islamic Republic of Iran in your respective countries.


Paris-Geneva, July 21, 2009

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
- Email: Appeals
- Tel and fax OMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29
- Tel and fax FIDH: +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / 01 43 55 18 80

- [1] See
- [2] See Observatory Annual Report 2007.