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Journalist sentenced to death

(RSF/IFEX) - According to information made available by RSF on 29 May 1998,
the organisation is appealing to Iranian authorities to pardon journalist
Morteza Firouzi, editor-in-chief of the daily "Iran News", who has been
sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and espionage.

**Updates IFEX alerts of 10 February and 29 January 1998, and 14 and 10
November 1997**
According to RSF, Firouzi was sentenced to death by stoning in January 1998.
The journalist was accused of adultery as well as spying for Japan, South
Korea and France, during a trial which took place in camera. On 10 May 1998,
the Supreme Court, the highest judicial body in Iran, rejected Firouzi's
appeal and upheld the decision of the court of first instance. According to
the press in Tehran, the date for Firouzi's stoning has been determined but
has not been officially disclosed. The only recourse left to the journalist
is a pardon by Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Republic of Islam.
Firouzi, 43 years old, the former editor-in-chief of the English-language
"Iran News", is one of the most respected journalists in Iran.

At a time when Iranian authorities have declared that they are "determined
to defend freedom of the press", the stoning of Firouzi constitutes an
intolerable violation of this freedom and of human rights in Iran.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to Ali Khamenei:
  • expressing concern that the death sentence is not carried out quickly and
    asking him to use his prerogative to pardon Morteza Firouzi and to ensure
    that a new, fair and impartial trial takes place in the presence of lawyers
    and international observers

    Appeals To

    Leader of the Islamic Republic:
    His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
    The Presidency, Palestine Avenue
    Azerbaijan Intersection
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Fax: +98 21 650203 (via Interior Ministry, ask for fax to be forwarded)

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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