PEN International is seriously concerned about the detention of leading Iranian journalist Taghi Rahmani, who was arrested at his home on February 9, 2011. He is believed to be held without charge and his whereabouts are still unknown. He is considered to be at risk of torture and ill-treatment, and there are fears for his well-being in detention. He is among a number of activists to be targeted ahead of pro-democracy protests which took place on February 14, 2011. PEN fears that he is being targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

Background Information

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) gives the following information:

Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrest of Taghi Rahmani, a veteran independent journalist and staunch free speech activist, who was picked up at his Tehran home on February 9, 2011, by men in plain-clothes and was taken to an unknown location.

At the same time, several journalists and bloggers have been summoned for questioning by the Revolutionary Guards and the intelligence ministry in various parts of the country ahead of a demonstration called by government opponents for February 14 in solidarity with the Egyptian and Tunisian peoples.

Rahmani was arrested despite the fact that his wife, fellow journalist Narges Mohammadi, has been seriously ill ever since her release on July 2, 2010. A spokesperson for the Human Rights Defenders Center and colleague of Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, she had been arrested at their home on the evening of June 10, 2010.

Rahmani has repeatedly been arrested in connection with his work for newspapers since 1981. He was prosecuted both for working for underground newspapers such as
Pishtazan and Movahed and for working for legal newspapers such as Iran-e-Farda and Omid Zanjan. In all, he has spent more than 16 years in Iranian prisons.

Write A Letter

  • Protesting the arrest without charge of Taghi Rahmani;
  • Calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory;
  • Seeking assurances of his well-being in detention, and urging that he has full access to family visits, legal representation, and any necessary medical care while detained.

Send Your Letter To

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street
Islamic Republic of Iran

Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani
Head of the Judiciary
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri
Tehran 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax Via Foreign Ministry: +98 21 6 674 790
(mark: "Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad")

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Iran in your country if possible.