Monday, 6 August 2012

Amnesty International Urgent Action - EXECUTION LOOMS FOR SAEED SEDEGHI - Index Number: MDE 13/056/2012 Date Published: 3 August 2012


Human Chain Project


Amnesty International Urgent Action 

Index Number: MDE 13/056/2012
Date Published: 3 August 2012


Saeed Sedeghi, a shop worker sentenced to death for a drugs offence, appears to be at imminent risk of execution. He was transferred from Tehran’s Kahrizak detention centre to Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj on 1 August, where he could be executed at any time.

On 28 July 2012, Saeed Sedeghi was brought before Branch 30 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, where he was required to sign a document, apparently informing him that his death sentence was going to be implemented. Saeed Sedeghi’s lawyer was not present. Saeed Sedeghi had previously made an application to the Amnesty and Clemency Commission. He was never formally told of the outcome of this application, but given what happened in court on 28 July, it appears to have been rejected.

Saeed Sedeghi had an unfair trial, on 26 May 2012, before Branch 30 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, where he was represented by a state-appointed lawyer.

This lawyer had had no contact with Saeed Sedeghi, or access to his casefile, before the trial. The court sentenced him to death on 2 June 2012 for participating with three other men in the purchase and possession of 512 kg of methamphetamine. Saeed Sedeghi was also ordered to pay a fine of two million rials (approximately US$163) and sentenced to 20 lashes for individual possession of 21 grams of the drugs opium and marijuana.

Please write immediately in
Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:

Urging the Iranian authorities not to carry out the flogging or execution of Saeed Sedeghi, and to commute his death sentence, and that of anyone else on death row;
Calling on them to ensure Saeed Sedeghi is given immediate and regular access to any medical attention he may require, his family and a lawyer of his own choosing:

Acknowledging that the authorities have a right to prosecute anyone for offences connected to the production and supply of illegal drugs, but pointing out that drugs offences do not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes” to which the death penalty must be restricted under international law, and that death sentences should not be mandatory.


Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: "#Iran leader @khamenei_ir: halt execution of Saeed Sedeghi”. Use the hashtag: #saeedsedeghi
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
[care of] Public relations Office
Number 4, 2 Azizi Street
Vali Asr Ave, above Pasteur Street intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
(Subject line: FAO Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani) or
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
High Council for Human Rights
[Care of] Office of the Head of the Judiciary, Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
(subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani

Also send copies to 
diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office 
if sending appeals after the above date. 

This is the first update of UA: 165/12. 

Further information: library/info/MDE13/035/ 2011/en


Saeed Sedeghi was arrested along with three other men in Tehran on 29 November 2011 for possession of the synthetic drug methamphetamine. Until his transfer to Ghezel Hesar Prison, he had been held in Kahrizak detention centre, in southern Tehran. Saeed Sedeghi had told his family that he was tortured or otherwise ill-treated, including having several teeth knocked out while in Kahrizak detention centre.

Iran has one of the highest rates of drug addiction in the world; in May 2011 the Head of the Law Enforcement Force, Esma’il Ahmadi-Moghaddam, said that there were probably more than two million users of illegal drugs in the country. It is also second only to China in the number of executions carried out each year.

In 2011, of some 600 executions recorded by Amnesty International from both official and unofficial sources, 488 were for drugs offences – a staggering 81 per cent.

For more information, see Addicted to death: executions for drugs offences in Iran (MDE 13/090/2011), 15 December 2011, So far in 2012, at least 121 of the 178 executions acknowledged by the Iranian authorities have been for drug-related offences. Amnesty International has received credible reports of 94 other executions which were not officially acknowledged, mostly of people convicted of drugs offences.

The Interior Minister stated in October 2010 that the campaign against drug trafficking was being intensified, and the Prosecutor-General stated that month that new measures had been taken to speed up the judicial processing of drug-trafficking cases, including referring all such cases to his office. 

Under Article 32 of the Anti-Narcotics Law, those sentenced to death for drugs offences do not have the right to appeal, as their convictions and sentences are merely confirmed by either the President of the Supreme Court or the Prosecutor-General. In practice, it seems that many such death sentences are referred to the Prosecutor-General. 

This contravenes Article 19 of the Law on Appeals, under which all death sentences are open to appeal, as well as Article 14 (5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states that “everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law”.

In December 2010, amendments to the Anti-Narcotics Law extended the scope of the death penalty to include additional categories of illegal drugs (including methamphetamine - “crystal meth”), possession of more than specified amounts of which carries a mandatory death sentence. 

The UN Human Rights Committee has stated that “the automatic and mandatory imposition of the death penalty constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of life, in violation of Article 6(1) of the ICCPR, in circumstances where the death penalty is imposed without any possibility of taking into account the defendant's personal circumstances or the circumstances of the particular offence”.

Under Article 6 (2) of the ICCPR, to which Iran is a state party, “sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes”. UN human rights mechanisms, including the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions and the Human Rights Committee, have concluded that the death penalty for drug offences fails to meet the condition of "most serious crime". 

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime have likewise expressed grave concerns about the application of the death penalty for drug offences.

Names: Saeed Sedeghi
Gender m/f: m

urther information on 
UA: 165/12 Index: MDE 13/056/2012 Issue Date: 3 August 2012

SOURCE : Amnesty International