UN Human Rights Experts Welcome Release of Arash Sadeghi
UN human rights experts* welcomed the release of Iranian human rights defender Arash Sadeghi, who was released from Raja’i Shahr Prison this month after five-and-a-half years in detention.
“I welcome the release of Mr. Sadeghi, and commend the Iranian Government’s implementation of the Sentence Reduction Directive,” said Mary Lawlor, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. “I look forward to the release of other human rights defenders who have been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty, including Mr. Sadeghi’s wife, Golrokh Iraee.” Ms. Iraee was also the subject of an opinion by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, added: “While noting the release of Mr Sadeghi, I maintain grave concerns for individuals arbitrarily detained in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including human rights defenders. I am encouraged by this decision and other recent decisions by the Iranian authorities to release human rights defenders and I urge the Iranian authorities to build on these positive signs and to release other arbitrarily detained individuals.”
In 2018, Mr. Sadeghi was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his shoulder, but was later transported back to prison contrary to medical advice. Consequently, his right arm became infected, resulting in a loss of mobility and feeling in that arm.
On 11 May 2020, the Iranian Parliament ratified the Sentence Reduction Law. This law has reduced the sentences and brought about the release of some human rights defenders, including Mr. Sadeghi.
* The experts: Ms Mary Lawlor, (Ireland) is the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran; Ms. Leigh Toomey (Chair-Rapporteur), Ms. Elina Steinerte (Vice-Chair), Ms. Miriam Estrada-Castillo, Mr. Mumba Malila, Ms. Priya Gopalan, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.