UN Working Group concludes that detention of human rights defenders in Iran is arbitrary

February 6, 2014

In an opinion adopted on 20 November 2013, the United Nations UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention [WGAD] requested the release of Iranian human rights defenders Khosro Kordpour and Massoud Kordpour from arbitrary detention. The WGAD carried out its investigation pursuant to an appeal by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and informed the Observatory (an FIDH-OMCT joint program me) of its decision on 4 February, 2014.logo FIDH_seulOMCT-LOGO

Khosro Kordpour and Massoud Kordpour are brothers and respectively editor of and correspondent with the Mukrian News Agency, reporting mainly about the conditions of civil rights activists, political prisoners and human rights violations in particular in the Iranian Kurdish-inhabited regions and cities. Both were tried in the framework of three hearings held in August, September and October 2013 before Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolution Court of Mahabad. On November 9, 2013, the court sentenced Mr. Khosro Kordpour to five years in prison to be served in internal exile in Tabriz prison as well as two years of internal exile in the city of Kerman for “assembly and collusion”, and to one additional year in prison for “spreading propaganda”, while Mr. Massoud Kordpour was sentenced to three years in prison for “assembly and collusion” and to six months imprisonment for “spreading propaganda”. Both currently remain detained in Mahabad prison.

In its decision, the WGAD highlighted that the trial of the Kordpour brothers was “flawed” and noted a number of violations such as “the inordinate delay in according them access to a lawyer, the 45-day delay in commencing interrogation and the jurisdiction of the court before which they [were] tried”. The UN Working Group found more generally that “a number of Iranian laws and policies, including the 1986 Press Law, the 2009 Computer Crimes Law and the 2010 Cybercrime law are not in conformity with the right to freedom of expression and access to information under international law”, that the “charges against the Kordpour brothers are vague and ambiguous and therefore difficult to substantiate”.

The UN WGAD therefore ….requested “the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release Khosro Kordpour and Massoud Kordpour forthwith and bring their situation in conformity with the requirements of international human rights instruments”, and to provide them “with appropriate reparation”.

via Iran: The UN finds the detention of human rights defenders Khosro Kordpour and Massoud Kordpour arbitrary; release and reparation requested / February 5, 2014 / Urgent Interventions / Human rights defenders / OMCT.

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