Said Masouri - Amnesty International Action

 

 

 

PUBLIC                                 AI Index: MDE 13/018/2002

EXTRA 77/02 Fear of imminent execution/           2 October 2002

Fear of torture and ill-treatment

IRAN     Said Masouri (m), aged 36

 

Amnesty International is concerned that Said Masouri faces imminent execution, after his death sentence was reportedly upheld by the Supreme Court approximately three weeks ago. He has reportedly been ill-treated in detention.

Said Masouri, allegedly an activist and supporter of the the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), an armed political group opposed to the current Iranian government, has lived in Norway since 1988. He was allegedly sent to Iran in early 2001 in order to carry out a "military mission" for the PMOI. Before he was able to undertake his mission, however, he was arrested, either in the city of Dezful or the nearby city of Andimeshk, in western Iran.

Said Masouri was reportedly ill-treated and possibly tortured while in detention, and was allegedly threatened with summary execution if he refused to make a televised confession. Amnesty International has received information stating that Said Masouri "had been under torture for a long time and has lost a lot of weight [and that] his family did not recognize him". He is currently being held in Wing 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran.

In June 2002, Branch 6 of the Revolutionary Court, located in Evin prison in Tehran, sentenced him to death on various charges, including "acting against state security", "membership of a proscribed organization" and other security provisions. He was not allowed to choose his own lawyer and was allocated one by the court.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Amnesty International acknowledges the right and responsibility of all governments to bring to justice those guilty of recognizably criminal offences. However, the organization is fundamentally opposed to the death penalty in all cases as the ultimate violation of the right to life, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to Article 6(2) of the International Covenanent of Civil and Political and Civil Rights (ICCPR) to which Iran is a state party, "In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes..." It is intended to be a quite exceptional measure, according to the UN's Human Rights Committee.

Iran's Penal Code contains a number of vaguely worded articles relating to "national security" which prohibit a range of activities, including those connected with membership to political organizations, which do not amount to recognizably criminal offences.

The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) has been proscribed by the governments of the European Union and The United States of America as a "terrorist" organization.