Arzhang Davoodi - Iran
Group 92 is currently working on behalf of Iranian writer and teacher Arzhang Davoodi, 56, serving a 15-year prison sentence for peaceful expression of opinion, has been tortured and prevented from appealing his case. He was arrested in October 2003 for his involvement in the production of a TV documentary called "Forbidden Iran" in which he spoke out about human rights violations in Iran. He was held in a detention facility run by the Revolutionary Guards until March 2004, spending over three months in solitary confinement. He was then moved to Evin Prison in Tehran, where he was severely beaten and tortured: his jaw and shoulder were broken. Mr. Davoodi was not charged for at least a year. In a letter from prison dated July 2005, he said that he had been sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment and 70 lashes by a Revolutionary Court, which deals with crimes against national security. On September 20, 2005 he was sent into internal exile in Bandar Abbas Prison, Hormozgan Province, 1500 km south of his home in Tehran.
Mr. Davoodi is a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for peaceful expression of political beliefs. Amnesty Inernational calls ,and Group 92 is working, for his immediate release.
To take action on this case, you can send letters available from our letters page. For more information, see:
Group 92 worked on behalf of political prisoner Rebiya Kadeer, a Chinese Uiger, mother of 9, and successful businesswoman, who was detained by the Chinese government because of her human rights work. She was released in March 2005 after 6 years imprisonment.
For more information, please see Special Focus Cases -> Rebiya Kadeer
Group 92 worked on AI Action File 41, which deals with police abuse, torture, extrajudicial executions, and unfair trials in Mozambique. Our work was limited by an inability to find updated information. Nonetheless, as far as we know the situation in Mozambique is still urgent.
For more information, see the following:
Our campaign in Saudi Arabia was against the death penalty, corporal punishiment such as flogging and amputations, and in favor of better treatment of women and basic human rights. Regarding the death penalty, most of those who suffered this fate were not entitled to any representation, experienced torture, and underwent a public beheading execution style.
Saudi Arabia was a member of the United Nations General Assembly which proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and we asked them to respect and uphold this declaration. The campaign did not involve taking a position on the Shari'a law of Islam.
The campaign began in about October 1999 and lasted about 10 months. We handed out posters, pamphlets, urgent letters and many petitions. The main slogan was "End secrecy, end suffering".
After a few months of the campaign, Saudi Arabia responded with a strong statement that they enforce strict Islamic Shari'a law and the campaign undermines belief in Islam. They claim their law allows for fair trial, that they prohibit torture and other inhumane treatment, and that no person is arrested or detained unlawful grounds. These claims clearly were designed to protect themselves from AI and other human rights organizations. Nonetheless, we hope this campaign at least brought some hidden problems to the surface and put some damper on the more blatant human rights violations.