Thursday, 26 July 2007

Email Iran's President!

You'll find a simple form to use to present your appeal to His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here.
Let's appeal courteously and rationally.

Amnesty International's recommended action

Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Kurdish, English and French or your own language :

• expressing concern that Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolwahed (Hiwa) Butimar have been sentenced to death;
• urging the authorities to commute these death sentences immediately ;
• acknowledging that governments have a responsibility to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences, but stating your unconditional opposition to the death penalty, as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violation of the right to life ;
• asking for full details of the charges and evidence against Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolwahed (Hiwa) Butimar and expressing concern that their trial may not have met international standards for fair trial, which are especially important in capital cases ;
• calling on the authorities to ensure that neither is tortured or ill-treated ;
• calling for Adnan Hassanpour and Hiwa Butimar to be allowed immediate and regular access to their families, lawyers of their own choosing and any medical treatment they may require.

Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax : +98 251 774 2228 (mark FAO Office of His Excellency Ayatollah al Udhma Khamenei)
Salutation : Your Excellency Head of the Judiciary

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation : Your Excellency

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax : + 981 6 674 790 (Mark « Please forward to H.E. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad »)

via website :
Salutation : Your Excellency Governor of Kurdistan

Esmail Najjar
Email : In Persian and Kurdish, send via feedback form on the website :

In English, French or your other languages, use the feedback form on the website :

Salutation : Dear Governor Ambassade de la République islamique dIran
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 15
1050 Bruxelles
Fax : 02.762.39.15


This appears in a pdf document viewable here.

I love him more than my own eyes

Haj Khanoum, as she is known, is the mother of a Kurdish journalist who has been sentenced to death: Adnan Hassanpour.

Her real name is Aisheh Imani, and she says, “My blood is tied to Adnan’s blood. If anything happens to him no one knows what will happen to me.” Here are the excerpts of an interview Rooz Online had with Haj Khanoum.

Rooz (R): Haj Khanoum, when did you hear that your son was sentenced to death?
Aisheh Imani (AI): Last Tuesday.

R: How did you react when you heard the news?

AI: I couldn’t move. I couldn’t eat for two days, and only cried. Right now all of my friends and relatives are around me trying to console me.

R: When was the last time that you were able to see Adnan?
AI: It was Tuesday July 15. An hour after our meeting they removed Adnan from prison and transported him to an unknown location. That day Adnan was very normal and like himself. He was not aware of the verdict or plans to take him somewhere else.

R: Why do you think your son is sentenced to death?

AI: I think that this sentence is unjust. The hands of some people is involved in this case…

R: Who do you live with right now? Who runs your family’s affairs?

AI: Right now I am taking care of my family, and I live with my other son who is younger than Adnan.

R: What kind of a son is Adnan?
AI: He is calm, educated, and wise. I am very happy with him. I love him more than my own eyes.

R: Tell us about Adnan’s childhood. What kind of a child was he?

AI: He was calm and adorable. He never hurt anyone. He was always reading books and newspapers. Whenever he read for a few hours he would get so happy. He would come out of his room and joke around. Whenever he was mad about something he found solace in reading.

R: How has this court sentence changed your life?

AI: The judgement has affected all of our lives. All we do is cry and be sad. My blood is tied to Adnan’s blood. If the verdict is carried out I don’t know what would happen to me. I would also die.

R: Did you ever think your son will be sentenced to death one day?

AI: Never.

R: What is your biggest wish right now?

AI: My only wish is for my son to be released.

R: If you could say something to the judge in this case what would it be?

AI: I would tell him that the unjust judgment was not his because this is not the judgment of a judge!

R: How has the public reacted to the sentence?

AI: Every day about one hundred people call our house. Our house is always full of guests. Everyone is worried and feels our pain.

R: What do you want to ask officials and human rights organizations?

AI: I ask officials to review this case in a just manner. I also extend my hand for the help of human rights organizations. I only ask them not to leave us alone.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Worth a try...

I don't know what good it will do, but let's do it...


stating in your own words in a very balanced and rational way that we utterly oppose their sentencing to death of Adnan Hassanpour & Hiwa Butimar and that it massively damages Iran's relationship with us in the West. Let's show them we know and call them to stop.


The Iranian Ambassador H.E. Mr Rasoul Movahedian

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
16 Prince´s Gate
London SW7 1PT

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

My cousin is to be hanged in Iran

Ata Hassanpour received the shocking news on Wednesday: his cousin is to be hanged back home in Iran.

"I just talked with the Adnan’s mother on the phone. She cried all the time and she wants to commit suicide if he is hanged", says Ata Hassanpour quietly.

He sits in the living room in Fyllingsdalen and smokes while staring into the air. In his hand he holds a paper napkin. Less than 24 hours ago he received an email which shocked the family in Norway. Ata’s cousin, 25 year old Kurdish journalist and author Adnan Hassanpour had been sentenced to death by a so-called Revolutionary Tribunal in Iran.

Wrote about Kurdish history
According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Adnan Hassanpour was convicted together with a well known Kurdish activist, Hiwa Butimar. Both were sentenced to death for crimes against the national security of Iran.

"It is not true. All Adnan has ever done is write articles about the repression of Kurds in Iran. He wrote a book about Kurdish history. That is why the soldiers came and arrested him", Ata Hassanpour says.

Together with his sister Serweh he has lived in Norway since 2003. They had to flee from Iran because they were advocating the plight of the Kurds. Other members of the family have moved to Kurdistan, Iraq. Adnan Hassanpour stayed in his hometown of Mariwan, where he worked as a journalist at the weekly magazine ‘Aso’. The magazine was closed by the Iranian authorities in August 2005. On 25th January this year, Adnan was arrested by six agents from the Iranian Intelligence Agency.

In isolation for two months

"They called and asked him to come outside the house. They arrested him without telling him what his alleged crime was. For two months he had no contact with his mother", Ata and Serweh say.

"Neither Adnan’s lawyer have been informed about the case. They were never told about his death sentence. In Iran lawyers have no real power. They cannot influence the case", Ata says.

He has no faith in the Iranian judiciary. That his cousin received the death penalty nevertheless came as a shock.
"We thought he would get 2-3 years imprisonment. Not that he would be hanged for telling the truth and helping people", Ata and Serweh say.

International PEN writes on their web-site that the arrest of Adnan might have been motivated by an interview he gave to the radio station Voice of America. The arrest has attracted some international attention. Both PEN, which works for freedom of speech globally, and Amnesty International, have become involved in a campaign to free Adnan Hassanpour.

Ask for help from Norway

After she received news of the death sentence, Adnan’s sister Leila, who lives in Kurdistan, Iraq, has started an e-mail campaign in order to engage countries and international organisations so that they can put international pressure on the Iranian authorities. Ata hopes that the Norwegian authorities will help in this campaign, and call for the death sentence to be revoked.

"It is terribly difficult to be sitting here in Norway without being able to do anything. I beg of Norway, as a democratic country, to raise this case with Iran. It is important that someone protests against this case", he says.

Nobody knows when the death sentence will be carried out. Ata thinks it will be a date during next week. He has not thought of anything else, since he heard about the sentence.

"My thoughts are in Mariwan. I grew up in the same street as Adnan. We are as brothers", he says.

This article originally appeared here in Norwegian (translated for this site by Khalid Khedri)

Rapid action for those sentenced to death

Amnesty is initiating a world-wide rapid action plan in order to save journalist Adnan Hassanpour who is sentenced to death.

A message will be published on our e-mail network, reaching more than 100,000 activists says Lisa Sivertsen from Amnesty International’s headquarters in London.

After BT (Bergens Tidende) yesterday mentioned the death sentence for Adnan Hassanpour, who has family in Fyllingsdalen and at Laksevåg, Sivertsen contacted Amnesty’s head quarter in London.

Not too late.
The researcher (Sivertsen) has had the death sentence confirmed by sources in Iran. "It is common practice in Iran that the death penalty is reaffirmed by the Supreme Court. We are campaigning for the reverse of the verdict", Sivertsen says.

Lately, Amnesty has noted an abundance of violations of human rights in Iran, and they fear that 25 year old Adnan has been tortured. During his time in prison he has been denied contact with his family.
"The situation is getting worse for all types of activities, whether by journalists, union members, women’s activists or others in opposition to the state authorities", says Sivertsen.

"International protests save lives", Eva Stabell, member of the International Union of Journalists points out.

"Through campaigns and actions we have prevented the executions of journalists. But that is only executions in public, we don’t know how many are in prison or are tortured", says Stabell.

Statoil has to pressure Iran

She thinks that the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, and Statoil and Hydro (Petrol companies) should pressure the Iranian authorities in order to stop the persecutions.
"Companies owned by the Norwegian state have to impose conditions such as freedom of expression when doing business with regimes such as Iran. I don’t know which conditions they have imposed on the corporation with Iran, but sometimes one might have to raise the threshold", Stabell says.

Since 2002 Statoil has been involved in a billion dollar project for the storage of gas in Iran.

Information director in Statoil Jone Stangeland says that the company are imposing strict conditions on the corporation with Iran.

"But in cases like this that are not connected to our company we think that they need to be discussed at diplomatic level by the Norwegian authorities", he says.

Why can Statoil not impose conditions on Iran?

Our view is that we have a limited engagement in Iran, and that the protection of fundamental human rights has to be discussed by the Norwegian authorities, says Stangeland.

Foreign Ministry concerned

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry will now investigate the case.
"Norway is concerned about the situation of human rights in Iran, where there is an increase in the use of the death penalty. This is a question that Norway should raise with Iran on a regular basis. In this specific case we have asked the Norwegian Embassy in Tehran to investigate the factual circumstances", says deputy director in the Foreign Ministry Bjørn S. Jahnsen.
"If it is the case that the journalist has been convicted because of his work as a journalist, we will raise the case with the Iranian authorities", says Jahnsen.

BT tried several times to get a comment from the Iranian an Embassy in Oslo, but had no luck.

This article originally appeared here in Norwegian (translated for this site by Khalid Khedri)

Monday, 23 July 2007

Iran's track record- abominable

With a total of eight journalists currently detained, Iran continues to be the Middle East’s biggest prison for the press and one of the world’s ten most repressive countries as regards freedom of expression in the media. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is on the Reporters Without Borders list of the world’s 34 worst “press freedom predators.” Since he became president in August 2005, the authorities have cracked down hard on journalists. The situation is especially fraught in the Kurdish northwest.

- Reporters Without Borders, 23 July

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Global awareness and action

Protests have been organized in Germany:

23/07/2007 in front of the Iranian Embassy- Frankfurt
24/07/2007 Bremen
27/07/2007 Hanover

Open Letter from Hiwa's niece in Sheffield

Hiwa Butimar

Dear Amnesty International,

Can you please help us. My uncle is in prison for what he believes and I miss him a lot because when I was little he always looked after me like a dad. That’s because my dad was also in prison for what he believed too.
Once my dad was in prison for 12 month then 5 months, and a lot more times And it all adds up to more than 5 years. And I’m only 12 years old. I’ve lived with uncle Hiwa for half of my live I always called him dad and I love him as much as I love my real dad.
He is a good man he was working for a Green NGO. And I love him and I miss him so does my little brother, called Shiwan. He is 9 years old.
I hope that you can help us to get my uncle out of prison. Thank you very much.

Juwan (12) and Shiwan (9) Butimar, UK

Open Letter from Members of the Swedish Parliament

Click here to download a pdf from Members of the Swedish Parliament opposing the death sentence of Adnan Hassanpour.

(you will need to wait 30 seconds)

Open Letter from Hiwar's wife- Hero

An open letter from Mrs Hero Danish, legal partner of Mr Hiwa Butimar, to the European Union; Federation of Kurdistan journalists; International Federation of journalists; Amnesty International; Human Rights Watch; Reporters Without Borders; United Nations and European Greenpeace.

My husband was arrested by the Iranian intelligence service on the 23/12/2006 in the city of Mariwan, Kurdistan north east of Iran. My husband experienced all kinds of mistreatment and torture during his imprisonment in an Iranian intelligence prison. In addition to that, we were not aware of his location, and were not allowed to visit him.

On the 17/ 07/2007 the Iranian Revolutionary Supreme Court in the city of Mariwan unfairly sentenced my husband to death. Although I am a legal partner of Mr. Hiwa Butimar and I have documents to demonstrate my claim, the Iranian Supreme Court stated in the verdict that Hiwa is single.

As a result of this unfair verdict, I ask all humanitarian organisations throughout the world to take urgent action in order to halt the execution of my husband.

I will appreciate all your supports

Your sincerely:

Hero Danish

legal partner of Mr. Hiwa Butimar

London Protest 26th July

From Martin (Hadi) Butimar brother of the victim Hiwa Butimar who was unjustly sentenced to death by the Islamic Supreme Court in Iran.

Human Rights activists
Civilized people and other ethnicities in the U.K.

on the 26th/07/2007 there will be a protest in London in front of the Iranian Embassy between 13:00-15:00pm.

The purpose of this peaceful demonstration is to oppose the death sentence of Adnan and my brother Hiwa, who were sentenced to hang by the Islamic Supreme Court.
We have organized a peaceful protest in order to give them and their families our sympathy and support and to let the world know we stand against such injustice.

we appreciate your support:

-- Martin( Hadi) Butimar and Kurdish community in the U.K

If you can need more information, please contact Khalid :

mob. 07872924813