We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned to learn that the whereabouts of leading human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei is unknown and that his wife, Fereshteh Halimi, and brother-in-law, Farhad Halimi, have been arrested on 24 July by the Iranian authorities. Mostafaei is the lawyer of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani who has been sentenced to death by stoning for ‘adultery.’

Last week Mostafaei was issued a summons requiring him to present himself to Evin prison; he did so on 24 July. He was interrogated and released but received a further summons by telephone. Later that day, his wife and brother-in-law were arrested and remain in prison in order to exert pressure on Mostafaei to turn himself in. Scores of human rights defenders have been harassed or arrested in Iran with some being sentenced to death. Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son, Sajjad, who has appealed on her behalf has also faced interrogation and harassment.

We call on the Islamic regime of Iran to immediately release Mostafaei’s family and end its harassment of Mostafaei and Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son Sajjad. We also demand that Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani’s stoning and execution orders be rescinded and that she be released.


Mina Ahadi, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions (Germany); Maryam Namazie, Iran Solidarity, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran and One Law for All (UK); Shahla Abgari, Human Rights Activist (USA); Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Stop Child Executions (Canada); Louis Altman, attorney (UK); Helle Merete Brix, Journalist and Writer (Denmark); Nick Brown, Barrister (UK); Roma Ciesla, Polish Women’s Lobby (Poland); Ewa Dabrowska-Szulc, Pro Femina Association (Poland); Malgorzata Danicka, 8 March Agreement (Poland); Richard Dawkins, Scientist (UK); Laura Dubinsky, Doughty Street Chambers (UK); Francis FitzGibbon, QC (UK); Isabella Forshall, QC (UK); Margaret Gordon, Christian Khan Law Solicitors (UK); AC Grayling, Writer and Philosopher (UK); Laura Guidetti, Marea Association (Italy); Maria Hagberg, Network against Honour-Related Violence (Sweden); Helen Heenan, JP (UK); Katrine Winkel Holm, Sappho (Denmark); Phillippa Kaufmann, Doughty Street Chambers (UK); Hope Knutsson, Sidmennt, the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association (Iceland); Katarzyna Kopystyńska, Democratic Union of Women and Federation Polish Women’s Lobby (Poland); Ghulam Mustafa Lakho, High Court Advocate (Pakistan); Malgorzata Lesniak, Polish Rationalist Association (Poland); Mel Lipman, Lawyer (USA); Anne-marie Lizin, Belgian Senate Honorary Speaker (Belgium); Peter Lownds, Barrister (UK); Marieme Helie Lucas, Secularism Is A Women’s Issue (France); Mohamed Mahmoud, Centre for Critical Studies of Religion (UK); Kate Markus, Doughty Street Chambers (UK); Behnaz Parman, Artist (Germany); Pragna Patel, Southall Black Sisters (UK); David Pollock, European Humanist Federation (UK); Eloise Power, Doughty Street Chambers (UK); Eva Quistorp, MEP ad and Women for Peace (Germany); Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Campaigner (UK); Carla Revere, Lawyers Secular Society (UK); Maria Rohaly, Mission Free Iran (USA); Terry Sanderson, National Secular Society (UK); Nina Sankari, European Feminist Initiative (Poland); Issam Shukri, Defense of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq (Canada); Elizabeth Sidney, Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom and Equality (UK); Giti Thadani, Writer and Filmmaker (India); Richy Thompson, National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (UK); Anne Marie Waters, One Law for All Legal Team (UK); and Women in Black (Serbia).

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