Friday, June 22, 2007
Letter to the UN about Ali ShakeriUnited Republicans of Iran
For a Democratic and Secular Republic
Honorable Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations
Ms. Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
As you are well aware, Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Iran is a signatory, states that: (1) everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
After a month of uncertainty, finally the Islamic Republic of Iran confirmed the arrest of our friend and colleague, Mr. Ali Shakeri. Ali who is a member of the United Republicans of Iran was in Iran visiting his ailing mother and subsequently arrested while boarding a plane in Tehran.
For weeks it was unclear as to the reason and under whose jurisdiction he had been detained. Finally it was announced that he was being held on security-related charges and investigated by the security department of the Tehran prosecutor's office.
Throughout history, “security-related charges” has been a tool by despotic regimes to hold their citizens in confinement without proper judicial procedure. We are also concerned about the arrest of the 3 other Iranians, scholars Haleh Esfandiari, Kian Tajbakhsh as well as Nazi Azima, a reporter for Radio Farda. Although Ms. Azima is not under arrest but her passport has been confiscated and she is prohibited from leaving the country.
We hope that the United Nations as well as the OHCHR as the principal United Nations official responsible for United Nations human rights activities will take every step at its disposal to gain the freedom of these Iranians to return to their concerned families.
With outmost Respect,
International Relations Coordinator
June 22, 2007