Majid Tavakkoli

Special Focus Case: Majid Tavakkoli Campaign for Individuals at Risk



Transcript of Majid Tavakkoli

Page 1: Majid Tavakkoli

Special Focus Case: Majid Tavakkoli

Campaign for Individuals at Risk

Page 2: Majid Tavakkoli

Majid Tavakkoli: Overview

He is a student leader and member of the Islamic Students Association, working to peacefully represent students’ interests and concerns in Iran.

Before arrest, he studied ship building at Amir Kabir University

24 years old

Prisoner of Conscience, imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression

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Majid Tavakkoli: Case Background 2009


Majid Tavakkoli was arrested on December 7, 2009 following his speech at a peaceful rally marking Student Day Demonstration was part of anti-government protests following disputed

presidential election in June 2009.

He was reportedly beaten during his arrest, sentenced following an unfair trial in January 2010 and held in solitary confinement for several months Majid was tried and sentenced to 8 ½ years of prison during an unfair trial, one

in which his lawyer was not allowed to attend

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Majid Tavakkoli: Case Background2010

From January to May 2010, he was placed in solitary confinement and was allowed only one brief family visit for 15 minutes During this time, he was staging a hunger strike

and was reportedly suffering from a respiratorycondition, internal bleeding, and loss of speech.

Raja'i Shahr Prison, copyright

In June 2010, Amnesty International adopted Majid Tavakkoli’s case as part of a campaign to address the Iranian governments stifling of freedom of expression which has escalated since the disputed presidential elections in June 2009

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Majid Tavakkoli: Case Background 2010

On December 7, 2010, marking the Student Day anniversary, Majid Tavakkoli and imprisoned student Bahareh Hedayat wrote a joint later praising efforts of Iranian students abroad, and called for the protection and promotion of the Student Movement. Following this letter, both students now face additional charges of “propaganda

against the system” and “acting against national security by conspiring against the system.”

During a recent interrogation, Majid Tavakkoli was asked to condemn the Student Movement in order to be acquitted from his charges. He refused to do so.

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Majid Tavakkoli: Case Background 2011

On January 5, 2011, Majid Tavakkoli’s family home was raided by intelligence officers from the Shiraz Ministry of Intelligence and his brother was summoned to appear before the Office of Investigation at the Shiraz Ministry of Intelligence. In response, Majid Tavakkoli published a letter condemning the raid on his

family home.

Despite a history of arrests, torture, and solitary confinement, Majid Tavakkoli continues to exercise his right to free expression on behalf of thousands of other silenced Iranian students

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Majid Tavakkoli: Current Situation

Serving 8 ½ years in prison, plus 5 year ban on any involvement in political activities and on leaving the country

He faces additional charges of “propaganda against the system” and “acting against national security by conspiring against the system” after publishing the Student Day letter

Has been subjected to months in solitary confinement, restricted access to lawyers and family.

Suffers from poor health and has been denied proper medical care

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CASE GOALS: Majid Tavakkoli is immediately and unconditionally released Until his release, Majid Tavakkoli is treated humanely according to international

human rights standards and is protected from torture and other ill-treatment and has access to adequate medical care.

KEY TARGETS: Supreme Leader - Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei Head of the Judiciary - Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani Speaker of Parliament - Ali Larijani Head of the human rights council in the judiciary and a top adviser to the supreme

leader -Mohammad-Javad Larijani

Majid Tavakkoli

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Engage Allies to Join the Call for Justice: Student Organizations Iranian Diaspora Medical Associations and Networks International Human Rights Organizations Utilize social networking and other communication channels to ensure that people

inside Iran know we stand with them in calling for freedom of expression.

Raise Profile of Case: Targeted approaches to niche media and selected columnists Engage high level influential people

Joint initiatives with key international AI sections

Direct action by AI activists targeting Iran government officials


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November 17: International Students’ Day

December 1-4: Middle East Studies Association

Annual Meeting (Washington, DC)

December 7: Student Day in Iran/ Anniversary of

Majid Tavakkoli’s arrest

December 10: International Human Rights Day

Key Dates: 2011

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Current Actions: Pass the Mic (and Shine a Light) for Majid: Take up the microphone to help share Majid’s

hopes for “human rights, justice and peace” in Iran. Hold an open mic night, encouraging people to share thoughts about human rights and freedom of expression.

NOWRUZ Solidarity Card Action: Send Majid Tavakkoli cards of support. Letter Writing and Postcards: Throughout campaign, we will continue to bombard Iranian

government officials with letters and postcards. If you would like to receive post cards. Please contact Ilona Kelly: [email protected].

In Development: “Truthbombs” - Student Radio Series: Public awareness initiative on radio stations and

other media outlets. This is an opportunity for the public to speak to the Iran government and call for the release of Majid. Compile “collage” of voices to play on radio station networks.

(Shine Some) Lights! Camera! Solidarity!: Create video recordings containing messages of solidarity for Majid and other student activists in Iran. Record yourself reading an excerpt from Majid Tavakkoli’s speeches of writings.

Community murals: Work with AI members in East, especially artists and students, to create large scale paintings symbolizing the right to self expression and an iconic image of Majid.

Key Tactics

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Resources and How to Get Involved

For more information and to take action visit:

To receive case updates and to connect with other activists taking action for Majid, join the googlegroup: .

Key Contacts: AI Mid-Atlantic Regional Office: [email protected] Adrian Groenendyk, Special Focus Case Coordinator,

[email protected] Elise Auerbach, Iran Specialist, [email protected] Ilona Kelly, Individuals at Risk Campaigner - Africa and the Middle East,

[email protected]