Tuesday, September 28, 2021


Amnesty International,  USA, 9-27-2021

Nahid Taghavi, a 66-year-old German Iranian national, has been arbitrarily detained in Tehran’s Evin prison since 16 October 2020. She has serious medical conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, placing her at heightened risk of severe illness or death if she contracts COVID-19. She is a prisoner of conscience that requires lower lumbar surgery according to prison physician. Her family have agreed to pay for her surgical procedure outside prison. 

In recent years, the Iranians authorities have arrested and detained dozens of dual nationals, including human rights activist Nahid Taghavi. 

In July 2019 report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Prof. Rahman expressed deep concern about the continued “arbitrary arrest, detention, ill-treatment and denial of appropriate medical treatment of dual and foreign nationals.” He stated that the Iranian authorities have “subjected these individuals to sham trials, which have failed to meet basic fair trial standards, and convicted them of offences on the basis of fabricated evidence or, in some cases, no evidence at all, and [have] attempted to use them as diplomatic leverage.” 

Prof. Rahman also noted that the families of several dual nationals detained in Iran consider the detention of their loved ones to be “hostage-taking”. 

Amnesty International has documented a pattern of systematic fair trial rights violations in Iran, beginning from the time of arrest right up until when defendants stand trial. Detainees are often arrested without warrants and held in prolonged solitary confinement in undisclosed locations without access to their families. Individuals detained, investigated and prosecuted, especially those who are dual nationals or who are arrested on politically motivated charges, including human rights activists, are subjected to grossly unfair judicial proceedings. 

Prosecution authorities and interrogators belonging to security and intelligence bodies, including the Revolutionary Guards, systematically deny detainees their right to access a lawyer from the time of arrest, even lawyers vetted and approved by the judiciary, during the investigation phase of their case. Prosecution authorities also deny prisoners of conscience access to adequate health care, including surgical procedures 

I ask you to immediately and unconditionally release Nahid Taghavi as she is a prisoner of conscience detained solely in connection with her peacefully exercising her rights to freedom of expression and association. Pending her release, give her regular access to a lawyer of her choosing and family, as well as to any health care she needs, including medication and transfer to outside facilities for surgical treatment, and ensure that she is granted access to consular assistance from the German authorities. 

Prof. Azam Niroomand-Rad 

Coordinator, Amnesty International Local Group 139, 

Madison, WI, USA 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Solidarity Statement for Iran's Political Prisoners

Our AI Group #139 Coordinator, Azam Niroomand-Rad, wrote this statement of solidarity for the group, Emergency Campaign  2Free Iran's Political Prisoners, supporting the release of Iran's political prisoners.

 September 20, 2021

"The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and government authorities have failed to provide accountability for political prisoners. According to Amnesty International there are many arbitrary arrests of human rights activists in particular women, ethnic and religion minorities. Leaked video footage from Evin prison offers evidence of beatings, sexual harassment, and other ill-treatment by prison officials without any fear of consequences or accountability. Security forces violate prisoners’ right to life and dignity. Lack of investigations constitutes in and of itself a violation of the human rights.

 Amnesty International believes there are no transparency in Iran’s justice system and the fact that many human rights violations go unreported due to widespread fear of reprisal, harassment and intimidation by security officers. The lawyers defending political prisoners have also received threats for pursuing legal action or even faced persecution and imprisonment. 

Amnesty International has serious concerns of the recent UN Special Rapporteur on Iran in July 2021 regarding gross human rights violations and abuses in the IRI with no accountability. A number of dual nationals from UK, Sweden, Germany and Australia are kept in solidarity confinement limiting access by their families and lawyers. 

The governments of the US, Iran, and other countries may have their own national interests. Sanctions hurt people and political prisoners. We demand the US to lift sanctions and the IRI to free all political prisoners including people of Baháʼí Faith, Kurd, Baluch, and Arab dissent now and unconditionally." 

Monday, September 20, 2021

We Mourn the Passing of One of Our Dedicated Members


July 29, 2021: 
It is with great sadness that we post the obituary of one of our longtime members. Wayne Kinos passed away on July 29, 2021. He was a tireless advocate for human rights and we will miss him greatly. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

IRAN: Deaths in Custody - PRESS RELEASE

Amnesty International, USA, 9-16-2021

Please find attached a press release (in English and Persian) that Amnesty International issued today on a decade of deaths in custody in Iran that have gone uninvestigated and unpunished amid systemic impunity for torture.


The press release reveals that the Iranian authorities have failed to provide accountability for at least 72 deaths in custody since January 2010, despite credible reports that they resulted from torture or other ill-treatment or the lethal use of firearms and tear gas by officials.

 Amnesty International believes that the real number of deaths in custody is likely much higher given the lack of transparency in Iran’s justice system and the fact that many human rights violations go unreported due to widespread fear of reprisal and systematic repression of civil society.


EGYPT: Charges Dropped for Egyptian Lawyer - GOOD NEWS

Amnesty International, USA, 9-16-2021.

Over the past few years, Egyptian lawyer and human rights defender Azza Soliman was arrested several times and harassed by the Egyptian authorities for defending women's rights.


There is have great news.The charges against Azza have been dropped and her travel is no longer banned!


Local Amnesty activists found ways of getting the attention of Egyptian authorities by sending letters and pictures demanding that they drop the charges against Azza.


In total, over 35,000 people campaigned on Azza’s behalf and made sure the Egyptian authorities heard the message to drop the charges.





Wednesday, September 15, 2021

IRAN: Swedish-Iranian Doctor at Risk for Execution - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International, Australia, Sept 15, 2021.

Over 5 years ago, Swedish-Iranian academic Ahmadreza, a specialist in emergency medicine, was on a regular trip to Iran when he was arrested. 

Ahmadreza says he was tortured and that interrogators threatened to harm his children unless he 'confessed' to being a 'spy' for Sweden.

Ahmadreza’s wife Vida describes him as “a conscientious and compassionate doctor who has put all of his effort into the health and welfare of others.” 

In November 2020, Vida was told that Ahmadreza’s execution would be carried out within a week. In response compassionate people from all around the world spoke out and called for the Iranian authorities to call off the execution. 

He remains at risk for execution.

Call on the Iranian authorities to quash Ahmadreza’s death sentence today.


Monday, September 13, 2021

USA: Intellectually Disabled Man Faces Execution - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Sept 10, 2021.

Ernest Johnson faces execution on October 5, 2021. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1995 for the 1994 murders of three employees of a convenience store in Missouri. A jury sentenced him to death despite a claim of intellectual disability in violation to international law. Johnson had surgery in 2008 to remove a brain tumor which has left him with seizures. Medical expert testified that the lethal injection drugs may trigger violent and painful seizures. State and federal courts have denied his claims for relief. We urge Governor Parson to halt the execution and commute his sentence.


IRAN: Kurdish Prisoner at Risk for Execution - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, 9-12-2021.

Iranian Kurdish prisoner Heidar Ghorbani is at imminent risk of execution for “armed rebellion against the state” (baghi), despite serious fair trial violations and the trial court confirming that he was never armed. In August 2021, the Supreme Court rejected his second request for judicial review. His conviction is based on torture tainted “confessions” obtained while he was forcibly disappeared.



Friday, September 10, 2021

IRAN: Prisoner Held in Cruel Conditions - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, 9-10-2021.

Prisoner of conscience Maryam Akbari Monfared has been held in cruel and inhumane conditions in a distant prison in Semnan province far from her family since March 2021.  She was seeking truth and justice for her siblings who were forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed in secret in 1988. She has been unjustly jailed for nearly 12 years. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

COLOMBIA: Journalist at Risk - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Sept 1, 2021

On July 7, 2021 a local civil society organization received confidential information about a plan to kill journalist José Alberto Tejada. 

Since April 28, 2021 he has faced more than 14 security incidents including surveillance by unidentified men and a security forces official had treated with killing him. 

José Alberto Tejada’s work has been crucial in denouncing human rights violations and crimes under international law by the security forces during the Colombian National Strike, in the city of Cali (West). 

We urge the National Protection Unit of the Ministry of Interior to provide him with appropriate protection measures with his agreement.





Thursday, September 2, 2021


Amnesty International, USA,  Sept 1, 2021

President Biden is talking up what he’s calling “the largest airlift in U.S. history...” but Amnesty is tracking the fallout for at-risk women’s rights activists, journalists, religious minorities, and others left behind in Afghanistan. They’ve been left behind. Their fears are real. They remain in peril.