Amnesty: Saman Nassem Must be Given a Fair Trial

Kurdpa: Amnesty International urged Iranian authorities to grant Saman Naseem , a Kurdish political prisoner on death row, a full and fair retrial.

In a letter to Iran’s Head of Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, Amnesty appealed to public to urge him to ensure that the authorities grant Saman Naseem a full and fair retrial according to international standards and without recourse to the death penalty.

Saman Nassem contacted his family on July 11, 144 days after his disappearance, and broke the news that he is still alive and is kept at Zanjan city’s Sari prison.

The Supreme Court has also granted Naseem’s application for judicial review, which means that his conviction and death sentence are quashed and that he is entitled to a full retrial.

“When thousands of us took action in February to save Saman Naseem’s life, the Iranian authorities heard us and quashed his death sentence. Now let’s use our power to ensure he gets a fair retrial – this time free from torture and the death penalty,” said Amnesty International.

Keeping the pressure on the Iranian authorities to accord the 21-year old torture survivor a fair trial, Amnesty concluded “Saman now faces a full retrial. Join us in keeping the pressure on the authorities to ensure his retrial is up to international standards, without resort to the death penalty, and in line with the principles of justice for juvenile offenders. Any “confessions” obtained under torture or other ill-treatment must not be used in his retrial.”
Below is the copy of the letter prepared by Amnesty to be sent to Iran’s Head of Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani.

    Your Excellency,

    I am writing to you about Saman Naseem, a Kurdish juvenile offender, who was scheduled to be executed on 19 February 2015. I am pleased that Saman Naseem’s conviction and death sentence have been quashed. I now urge you to ensure that he has a fair and full retrial according to international standards and without recourse to the death penalty.

    I respectfully remind you that imposing the death penalty on anyone for crimes they may have committed while they were under 18 is strictly prohibited by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which Iran has ratified.

    I am also appalled that from 18 February to mid-July 2015 the Iranian authorities denied Saman Naseem’s family any concrete information about his fate and whereabouts, and placed him at risk of secret execution, as well as torture and other ill-treatment.

    I therefore ask you to ensure that the authorities:

    Apply the principles of international fair trial standards for Saman Naseem’s retrial and do so without recourse to the death penalty;

    - Ensure that any “confessions” obtained under torture are not used in court against Saman Naseem; and

    - Investigate Saman Naseem’s enforced disappearance and the allegations that he was tortured or otherwise ill-treated and bring those responsible to justice.

    Yours sincerely

Writing by Kurdpa Staff Writers and editing by Hazhir B.


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