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Arab and Egyptian organisations call for release of Iranian political detainee Ali Akbar Mosuavi-Khoini

(HRinfo/IFEX) - The following is a joint statement by HRinfo, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, and several other organisations:

Arab and Egyptian Organizations Call for Release of Iranian Political Detainee Ali Akbar Mosuavi-Khoini

Cairo - 13 July 2006

The undersigned Egyptian and Arab organizations urged today that the Iranian authorities release Mr. Ali Akbar Mosuavi-Khoini, a human rights defender, reformist and former Member of the Iranian Parliament, who has been detained since 12 June 2006 for participating in a peaceful demonstration calling for the elimination of legal discrimination against women in Iran.

Mousavi-Khoini was arrested along with 69 other protestors for staging a peaceful demonstration. The protesters were attacked by police during the demonstration prior to being taken into custody. All have been released since then, except for Mr. Mousavi-Khoini, who is being held in Branch 209 of Evin prison in Tehran, administered by the Iranian Intelligence Agency, where he has reportedly been severely beaten. He is reportedly accused of "disseminating lies" for making statements to the Mehr News Agency. Mr. Mousavi-Khoini is reportedly being interrogated and pressured in relation to his human rights activities as well as his activities while a member of Parliament, in particular speeches which he made in defense of human rights and in demand of political accountability and reform.

The undersigned Egyptian and Arab organizations express their deep concern over the surprising statements made by Iran's Minister of Security depicting the peaceful demonstration as a conspiracy. "Is the call to eliminate discrimination against women a conspiracy? Do violations of freedom of expression serve Iran?" the undersigned organizations wondered.

The undersigned organizations urge the Iranian government to immediately release Mr. Mousavi-Khoini, noting their doubts that the detention of Mousavi-Khoini could be an act of revenge as well as a punishment for exercising his right to free speech and his persistence in calling for reform in Iran.

Arab Commission for Human Rights - Paris
Arab Program for Human Rights Activists - Egypt
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) - Egypt
Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression - Egypt
Association for Human Rights Legal Aid
Center for Rural Studies - Egypt
Civil Observatory for Human Rights - Egypt
Damascus Center for Theoretical Studies and Civil Rights - Sweden
Egyptian Center for the Rights of the Child - Egypt
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
Egyptian Organization against Torture - Egypt
Egyptian Organization for Human Rights - Egypt
Hisham Mubarak Law Center - Egypt
Justice International- Al-Adalah Al-Alamia - The Hague
Maat Center for Legal and Constitutional Studies - Egypt
Nadim Center for Psychological Rehabilitation for Victims of Violence - Egypt
National Association for Human Rights and Development - Egypt
National Council for Liberty, Justice and Reconciliation - Syria
South Center for Human Rights
Syrian Committee for Human Rights - London

Arabic Network for Human Rights Information

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