Hambastegi – International Federation of Iranian Refugees(IFIR)
Press Release

12 March 2010

The International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) has set up the Free Jamal! 2010 campaign to save the Iranian activist Jamal Saberi (Jalal Amanzadeh Nouei) from deportation to Iran.

IFIR today urged the Japanese government to release Jamal Saberi (Jalal Amanzadeh Nouei) immediately and to revoke his deportation order.

Jamal Saberi (Jalal Amanzadeh Nouei) is a 42-year-old, Iranian born, activist who is a public and outspoken opponent of the theocratic regime in Iran. In 1990 he moved to Japan and since 1992 he has been active in opposing the Islamic Republic of Iran publicly. His political activities and promotion of human rights had brought him to the attention of the Islamic Republic’s authorities. Thus Mr Saberi applied for political asylum in Japan in May 2001 which was refused in May 2002. IFIR was informed by Mr Saberi’s lawyer that he was arrested and detained by the Japanese Immigration Authorities on 4th March 2010 with the intention of deporting him to Iran.

Abdolah Assadi, Executive Director of IFIR said in a statement: ‘We are trying our best to rally the public opinion against the Japanese government and its blatant violation of Jamal’s human rights. We, therefore, hereby declare that as far as we are concerned the Japanese government will be responsible for any harm that, we have no doubt, will jeopardize Jamal Saberi’s life and/or safety.’

The Free Jamal! campaign has organised a day of lobbying Japanese embassies and consulates around the world for Monday, March 15. Its automated online service has already been used by over 400 people to send a letter of protest to the Japanese Ministry of Justice and the UNHCR representation in Japan. In addition several hundred people have sent protest letters to Japanese embassies and consulates across the world.

Free Jamal! campaign organiser Patty Debonitas said today: ‘It’s unbelievable that after having seen what happens to opponents inside Iran anyone would even consider returning someone like Mr Saberi, with his very public profile of opposition, to Iran. People across the world were able to witness the human rights abuses by the Islamic Republic, particularly over the last ten months. I wonder how the Japanese authorities can think it in any way safe or justifiable to return Mr Saberi to Iran. This would no doubt mean certain threat to his life and safety.’

The Free Jamal! campaign has set three goals for its campaign. It wants to get Mr Saberi out of detention immediately and get his deportation order revoked. Patty Debonitas: ‘The next step will be helping him obtaining and leading a normal life. Mr Saberi has been in Japan for twenty years and has applied for asylum 9 years ago. It is time he can feel safe and protected by granting him refugee status.’
Note to Editors:
1) IFIR is an international non-governmental organization with over 42-branches in 16 countries worldwide which advocates promoting and protecting the rights of Iranian refugees and asylum seekers; provides evidentiary support through its Documentation Center; and provides referrals for services.

Contact Free Jamal! Campaign:
Patty Debonitas, London UK
Mobile: +44 (0) 7507978745
Email: freejamalcampaign@gmail.com
Blog: freejamal.blogspot.com

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