Iran: Release Writer and Film Producer Mostafa Azizi

By | August 4, 2015 at 10:30 am | No comments | Campaigns | Tags: ,

Canadian permanent resident Mostafa Azizi’s appeal to be heard “soon”

On June 1, 2015 writer and film producer Mostafa Azizi stood trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran for offenses related to national security. He was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison. Though no further details have been offered by Iranian authorities, the charges apparently stem from Azizi peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, including posting on Facebook and other social media sites.

On August 3, 2015, Azizi’s son Arash reported that his father’s appeal would be heard in Branch 54 of Iran’s Revolutionary Appeal Court by judge Poor Arab. No date has been set for the hearing.

PEN Canada calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Mostafa Azizi


Canadian permanent resident Mostafa Azizi, former chair of the Iran chapter of the International Animated Film Association, was detained by Iranian authorities on February 1, 2015, and held in Evin Prison. Azizi travelled to Iran in late December 2014 to visit his father who had been ill. He was charged with “insulting Iran’s Supreme Leader”, “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, “spreading propaganda against the system” and “gathering and colluding against national security”.

The first 33 days of Azizi’s detainment was spent in Section 2A of Evin Prison, 14 days of which were in solitary confinement with no access to his family and lawyer. After being interrogated, he was moved to Section 8 of Evin Prison, which houses hundreds of prisoners, including prisoners of conscience. Prisoners in Section 8 are believed to be held in severely overcrowded, poorly ventilated, and filthy cells, which are infested with insects and lack adequate sleeping and sanitation facilities. Azizi suffers from a number of pre-existing health conditions, including asthma, eczema, rheumatism and high blood sugar that are reportedly being aggravated by the conditions in which he is being kept. He was transferred to the prison’s medical clinic for one day on April 13, 2015 after he lost consciousness briefly. After his time in solitary confinement, Azizi has been allowed weekly visits with his family.

Mostafa Azizi stood trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on June 1, 2015. He was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison.

TAKE ACTION: Share on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, and sign the online petition here.

Please send appeals:

  • Protesting the conviction and sentencing of writer and film producer Mostafa Azizi on charges of “gathering and colluding against national security,” (five years imprisonment)  “insulting the Supreme Leader,” (two years imprisonment) and “Acting against national security in cyberspace” (one year imprisonment) on 8 June 2015;
  • Expressing serious concern about the detention of writer and film producer Mostafa Azizi feared to be held solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to free expression;
  • Expressing serious concerns for his well-being in detention, urging that he be protected from torture or other ill-treatment and calling for him to be granted full access to all necessary medical care;
  • Calling for him to be released immediately and unconditionally if – as appears – he is held solely in connection with his writings on social media.

Send appeals to:

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

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani
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.

With copies to:

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
The Presidency
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian)

***Please send appeals immediately. Please copy your appeals to the Embassy of Iran in your country, asking for their comments. A list of diplomatic missions can be found here***

** Please send PEN International copies of your letters or information about other activities and of any responses received.**

Photo Credit: Mahdi Delkhasteh via Wikipedia (Public Domain Attribution)

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