Iranian writer and poet Arzhang Davoodi learned from his lawyer on 20 July 2014 that he had been sentenced to
death for his alleged membership and support of banned group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).
The sentence was imposed despite an apparent lack of evidence and after grossly unfair proceedings. He had
been given less than an hour on 3 June to present his defence before a Revolutionary Court in the southern city of
Bandar Abbas, which relayed it to a Revolutionary Court in Karaj, responsible for issuing the death sentence.
Neither Arzhang Davoodi nor his lawyer were allowed to appear before the court which issued the verdict.
Arzhang Davoodi was arrested in 2003 and held in solitary confinement for prolonged periods during which he has
said he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated and denied access to a lawyer and his family. He was sentenced, in
March 2005, to 25 years’ imprisonment, reduced to 10 years on appeal, on charges of “spreading propaganda
against the system” and “establishing and directing an organization opposed to the government” for his peaceful
activities, including directing a cultural education centre. In May 2014, he was sentenced to an additional two years’
imprisonment, on the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader” which is under consideration in an appeal court.
Arzhang Davoodi is a prisoner of conscience, jailed, and now sentenced to death, for his political opinions and
peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression. He has no links with the PMOI or any armed groups. He is
believed to have been accused of having ties with the PMOI merely because in prison he insisted on calling PMOI
by its official name, Mojahedin, rather than by the term used by the Iranian authorities, Monafeghin (hypocrites).
Please write immediately in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:
Calling on the Iranian authorities to overturn Arzhang Davoodi’s death sentence;
Calling on them to release Arzhang Davoodi immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience,
held solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression;
Reminding them that under international law, the death penalty can be imposed only for “the most serious
crimes”, interpreted as “intentional killing” and after proceedings that comply with the most rigorous internationally
recognized standards for fair trial.