Published: 21 October 2012
Amnesty International Canada: Hamid Ghassemi-Shall faces imminent execution in Iran. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy issued a joint statement asking Iran to release and halt the execution of Hamid Ghassemi-Shall.
Hamid Ghassemi-Shall was arrested in late May 2008 while visiting his mother in Iran. This arrest took place approximately two weeks after the arrest of his brother, Alborz Ghassemi-Shall.
In November 2009 Hamid’s wife in Canada received reports that both Hamid and Alborz were convicted of espionage and sentenced to death. The legal proceedings were deeply unfair and neither Hamid or Alborz had a meaningful opportunity to defend themselves. His conviction appears to be based on a document of an alleged email exchange between Hamid and Alborz. Hamid has unequivocally stated that the document is a complete fabrication and that he never sent any such message. Testing and analysis by his lawyer reportedly confirm that to be the case.
Hamid and Alborz were in solitary confinement for 18 months until the end of November 2009 when they were transferred to a general population section in Tehran's Evin prison. On 20 January 2010 Alborz died in prison, reportedly of stomach cancer. Mr. Hamid Ghassemi-Shall reported that both he and Alborz were subject to “extreme pressure” during their detention.
Hamid Ghassemi-Shall was sentenced to death. His case has undergone a number of reviews, but the family confirmed in March 2012 that the death sentance has not been lifted.
Write the Iranian authorities. Request that they:
- Guarantee that Mr. Hamid Ghassemi-Shall will not be executed.
- Release Mr. Hamid Ghassemi-Shall immediately unless he is promptly brought to trial on recognizably criminal charges in legal proceedings that fully conform to international fair trial standards.
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid
Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur Street, Vali Asr Avenue, south of
Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
Mr Kambiz Sheikh Hassani
Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy for the Islamic Republic of Iran
245 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2K2
Fax: (613) 232-5712
The Canadian government has sponsored a resolution censuring Iran at the United Nations General Assembly human rights committee, every year since the 2003 torture and death while in custody, of Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi in Iran. The resolution has expressed deep concern at serious ongoing human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The violations include torture, flogging, amputations, stoning, and "pervasive gender inequality and violence against women." Canada has also "particular concern" with the Iranian government's failure to launch a thorough investigation of alleged human rights violations in the wake of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's contested re-election in 2009.
In a new year’s statement on January 1, 2011 the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed deep concern for the “deteriorating human rights situation in Iran.” He expressed particular concern for the uncertain fate of two Canadians of dual nationality who remain in prison in Iran. (Hamid Ghassemi- Shall and Hossein Derakhshan). He further referred to reports that Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian permanent resident, has been condemned to death and that his sentence could be carried out at any time. Minister Cannon encouraged the Iranian authorities to show mercy and compassion to those who are in Iran’s prisons without just cause, and called on Iran to respect its international human rights obligations in law and in practice and to foster a more open dialogue with the international community.