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Stop the executions and release prisoners of conscience

Journalist and women's rights activist Hengameh Shahidi
Journalist and women's rights activist Hengameh Shahidi

Amnesty International

Thousands of journalists, lawyers, students, artists, women's rights activists and trade union leaders are in jail in Iran, many of them on death row. This year alone, authorities officially acknowledged 86 executions - a rate, that if continued, means almost 1,000 people will be executed in 2011, says Amnesty International. Join Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and Amnesty in calling on the Iranian authorities to institute an immediate moratorium on all executions and release all those who have been jailed for peacefully speaking out.

Among them are Hengameh Shahidi, a freelance journalist and a women's rights activist who was arrested in June 2009 for taking part in protests to challenge the presidential election, giving an interview to the media, writing articles on her blog, and collecting signatures for the Campaign for Equality, which seeks to change discriminatory laws affecting women in Iran.

Shahidi is serving a six-year jail sentence. She has complained of torture in custody, including by beatings and threats of execution, and was first held in solitary confinement in a cell that measured only one metre by two metres.

More recently, the Iranian authorities failed to allow a largely peaceful demonstration to proceed on 14 February, in support of those in Egypt and Tunisia. At least two people were killed, and dozens or more injured and detained. Members of the Iranian Parliament called for the two most prominent opposition leaders to be prosecuted and sentenced to death for stirring unrest.

Click on this link and call on the Iranian government to release prisoners of conscience and immediately stop the executions.

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