OCTOBER 21, 2016
Iranian spiritual teacher Mohammad Ali Taheri, who started a hunger strike on 28 September, has been held incommunicado since 16 October. The authorities are refusing to provide his family with any information about his fate and whereabouts.
Iranian spiritual teacher Mohammad Ali Taheri, who has been languishing in solitary confinement in Section 2A of Tehran’s Evin Prison for over five years, has been deprived of all contact with his family since 16 October. His family are in great distress over his fate and whereabouts, particularly because his health has deteriorated since he started a hunger strike on 28 September. They have gone to various prison and judicial officials to enquire about his conditions and whereabouts but the authorities have refused to provide them with any information. Judicial officials appear to have informally told his lawyers that Mohammad Ali Taheri lost consciousness on the night of 18 October and was transferred to a Tehran hospital where the Revolutionary Guards frequently take people who are in their custody and hospitalize them under pseudonyms. This information, however, has not been confirmed to his family.
His family have said that his main interrogator and a masked man entered his cell on the fifth day of his hunger strike, took him to an interrogation room, and put him under pressure to give video-recorded “confessions”. They have said that he was beaten when he resisted.
Mohammad Ali Taheri, who has been in detention since May 2011, started his latest hunger strike in protest at the authorities’ refusal to release him even though he had completed serving his five-year prison sentence, which had been imposed on him for “insulting Islamic sanctities” for establishing a spiritual doctrine and group called Erfan-e Halgheh. In June 2016, he was acquitted of a second charge of “spreading corruption on earth”, for which he had been previously sentenced to death in August 2015.
۱) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
- Calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately disclose Mohammad Ali Taheri’s fate and whereabouts, and allow him to have regular visits and phone calls with his family;
- Urging them to release him immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of belief, expression and association;
- Calling on them to ensure he has access to a qualified health professional who can provide health care in compliance with medical ethics, including the principles of confidentiality, autonomy and informed consent;
- Calling on them to ensure that he is protected from any punishment for his hunger strike and to order an independent and impartial investigation into his allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, including his prolonged solitary confinement, which violates the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment, and bring those responsible to justice in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty.
Contact the below offical by 1 December, 2016:
Office of the Supreme Leader
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
۶۲۲ Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Salutation: Your Excellency
۲) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION
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