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Free Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi, Dissident Iranian Cleric Serving 11 Years For "Anti Regime Propaganda"
Petition Background (Preamble):
Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi (also Hosein Kazemaini Boroujerdi) is an Iranian Shia Muslim cleric who advocates the separation of religion and government and has been imprisoned several times by the Islamic Republic regime.
He reportedly first expressed his opposition to the theocratic nature of the Islamic government of Iran under which Islamic jurists rule or provide "guardianship" in 1994. He has been quoted as saying Iranians "are loyal to the fundamentals of the true religion and the Prophet's mission", but are "tired of the religion of politics and political slogans."
On October 7, 2006 a large crowd of over 1,000 people including many women gathered around his house and prevented his arrest by police forces and was able to repel them. Among the slogans shouted by the crowd: "Freedom, freedom - This is our incontrovertible right," (a counterpoint to the slogan shouted by supporters of the regime during Friday prayers: "Nuclear energy - This is our incontrovertible right,") and, "[We are] ready for martyrdom according to our traditional religion - that is, Islam that is not political". The next day security forces arrested Boroujerdi and several hundred of his followers - "172 women and 225 men" - who had gathered to prevent his arrest.
According to mardaninews website: "In June 2007, the Special Clerical Court prosecuted him behind closed doors. The authorities have not provided any official accounting regarding his prosecution and sentencing. According to his associates, he was initially sentenced to death, but upon appeals his sentence was reduced to 11 years in prison, ten of which must be served in exile in city of Yazd. He has been deprived of access to an independent attorney throughout his prosecution and imprisonment."
Amnesty International reports that there are believed to have been 30 charges against him,
These include “waging war against God” (Moharebeh), for which the punishment is death; acts against national security; publicly calling political leadership by clergy (Velayat-e Faqih) unlawful; having links with anti-revolutionaries and spies; and using the term “religious dictatorship” instead of “Islamic Republic” in public discourse and radio interviews.
Some followers of Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi say his health has further deteriorated in prison .Since Boroujerdi's arrest, his supporters say they have been under pressure and are often threatened, detained, and prosecuted.
Roya Eraghi, a follower of Boroujerdi who is currently living outside Iran after being released from prison on bail, told Radio Farda on July 4, 2011 that due to severe pressure and torture in jail Boroujerdi has developed several afflictions, including a heart condition. She added that Boroujerdi has also lost vision in one eye but has not been allowed to leave prison to receive medical treatment.
Abbas Tabatabai, another follower of Boroujerdi who left Iran after being arrested in 2006 and later released, told Radio Farda that the cleric's supporters are facing various charges. Tabatabai said he had been charged with "enmity with God," acting against Iran's national security, and espionage for Israel.
In 2010, Boroujerdi wrote an open letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, holding him responsible for the extensive violation of human rights in Iran. The letter says 30 years ago Iranian people were deceived into believing that the Islamic regime was going to be based on "independence, freedom, republicanism, and piety." But now people no longer want to maintain this political system, he said. Boroujerdi concluded his letter by calling for a "free referendum" in Iran "directly supervised by UN observers."
Family members of Boroujerdi wrote a letter last year to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking him to intervene in the jailed cleric's case. The letter stated that they were deeply concerned about Boroujerdi's health at that time and the inability for him to receive proper medical care.
In April 2009, Boroujerdi wrote a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urging Ki-Moon to intervene in his case, according to the website Washington TV. On November 11, 2011 a letter by him, was smuggled out from Evin prison, addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appealing for her help to deal with the root causes of the problems in Iran.
Based on Report sent to the "Human Rights Activists for Democracy in Iran" on Friday, in 9 March 2012, there was made an attempt on Mr. Kazemeini Boroujerdi’s life, the prominent religious leader who has spent more than 2,000 days in prison without any leave. His health condition is critical and he has the symptoms of severe poisoning.
Apparently, Mr. Boroujerdi’s food was poisoned by two prisoners. And since then both of those prisoners have been on leave and they are not available.
Over the past few months, this is the second attempt on this prisoner who opposed to religious Supreme Leadership. International Human Rights societies and defenders were protested against the failed attempt on Mr. Boroujerdi’s life previously. Also, it has been mentioned in the recent report by the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran.
Mr. Boroujerdi's family kindly request all human rights organizations and individuals to do an immediate urgent action in this regards while they know Ali Khamenei as a direct responsible for his life.
And whereas his imprisonment is a flagrant violation of Article 18, Section 1, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 19, Sections 1 and 2, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Iran being a signatory state to said Covenant), as well as Article 24 of the Iranian Constitution;
Therefore, we the undersigned demand that the international community bring all possible to bear upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately and unconditionally release Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi from prison. We further demand that all charges against him be dismissed, his sentence be vacated, and that he be provided with urgently needed medical care.
The Free Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi, Dissident Iranian Cleric Serving 11 Years For "Anti Regime Propaganda" petition to Ahmed Shaheed, UN, UNHCHR, State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: hossein kazemeini boroujerdi, iran, islamic republic of iran, iri, political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, freedom of religion, persecution, posion, torture, khamenei