Arzhang Davoodi, colleague of IWP research fellow Amir Abbas Fakhravar, faces imminent execution

August 28, 2012  |  PRESS RELEASES

Arzhang Davoodi, colleague of IWP research fellow Amir Abbas Fakhravar, faces imminent execution in Tehran.  Mr. Davoodi is an Iranian writer, poet, long-term political prisoner, and co-founder of Confederation of Iranian Students (CIS), where Mr. Fakhravar serves as Secretary General.

On August 23, 2012, Amnesty International released an Urgent Action statement for Mr. Davoodi.  

Mr. Davoodi was imprisoned since October 2003, was transferred to Section 209 of Tehran's Evin Prison on June 27 where it is feared he has been tortured or ill-treated. He has a court hearing on August 28 on the new charge of "enmity against God" (moharebeh) as a result of his peaceful political activism. The charge of "enmity against God" carries a possible death sentence.

Since his detention began, Arzhang Davoodi has been serving his prison sentence in different prisons in Iran, including at Bandar Abbas Prison, 1500 km south of his home in Tehran, as of political prisoner in exile; Reja'i Shahr Prison in Karaj; and Evin Prison, including Section 209, believed to be under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence and 325 Revolutionary Guards prison. Prisoners frequently report being tortured or otherwise ill-treated in this section of Evin Prison, and he has spent lengthy periods of time in solitary confinement since his arrest. Since being transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison, Arzhang Davoodi has not had contact with his family.  On 28 August, 2012, Arzhang Davoodi is to appear before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on the charge of "enmity against God" (moharebeh). Arzhang Davoodi is a co-founder of the Confederation of Iranian Students (CIS), a 10,000-membership independent, pro-western student movement, and has spent the last ten years as a political prisoner for his opposition to the Islamic Republic and his struggle for freedom for the Iranian people. 

Arzhang Davoodi, aged 60, was arrested in October 2003 for participating in the documentary Forbidden Iran in which he spoke out about human rights violations in Iran. Following a trial in 2005 he was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment and 75 lashes by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court on charges of "spreading propaganda against the system", "establishing and directing the Confederation of Iranian Students (CIS), an organization opposed to the government" for being the director of the Parto-e Hekmat Cultural Education Centre in Tehran; as well as for participating in the making of the documentary; and because of his writings on a secular system of governance in Iran. The new charge is believed to be linked to his peaceful political activism and writings, including the release of an audio recording in which he called for "freedom and democracy". The recorded message was widely distributed on the internet after CIS released the recording in the "Iran Democratic Transition Conference" organized by The Institute of World Politics at the George Washington University and United States Congress.

"Not only is Arzhang Davoodi held solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association in his writings and political activism, but he now faces fresh charges after being in jail for nearly nine years," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International's Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director. Arzhang Davoodi is currently under torture and risks imminent execution. 

Please click here for more information from Amnesty International, including how to take action.  

The video below of Mr. Davoodi was shown at the Iran Democratic Transition Conference organized in part by IWP in 2011.