NEHRI Deplores the Execution of Ali Saremi, MEK Member Associated with Camp Ashraf

Dec 28, 2010, 19:47 ET from Near East Human Rights Initiative (NEHRI)

OVERLAND, Kan., Dec. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Near East Human Rights Initiative (NEHRI) deplores the illegal and inhumane execution today of Ali Saremi, a member of the exiled opposition group the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK).

Last August, Amnesty International reported that Mr. Saremi, 63, had visited a son in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, where 3,400 members of MEK reside before his arrest. Iranian authorities have arrested other people in the past in part for visiting relatives in the camp. Amnesty International reported that in addition to Mr. Saremi, six others are facing execution after being sentenced to death for links with the MEK.

The leader of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, said in a statement Mr. Saremi was subject to "the most brutal torture and pressures" until his final days and that his daughter was arrested outside Tehran's Evin prison following his execution.

Iran's official news agency, IRNA, said Mr. Saremi was hanged for "moharebeh" or waging war against God. Under Iran's penal code, imposed since its 1979 Islamic Revolution, waging war against God can carry the death penalty.

Prior to his execution, Mr. Saremi had spent a total of 24 years in prison from various incarcerations under the shah and clerical rule. Though arrested in 2007 after visiting his son, his death sentence came in December 2009, after mass opposition protests were held.

NEHRI calls on the international human rights community to denounce this unjust and inhuman killing of a man who had spent his life promoting freedom and civil liberties in his homeland. We also call for immediate international action to save the life of his daughter and others who were arrested in relations to him.

We urge the U.S. Government to end the Iraqi Government's psychological torture of using 140 load speakers and medical blockade imposed on the residents of Camp Ashraf.

NEHRI promotes the protection of the fundamental human rights for everyone, especially for the people of the Middle East. NEHRI supports the accountable parties in relevant countries in upholding their responsibilities and in implementing the international treaties and conventions on human rights.

SOURCE Near East Human Rights Initiative (NEHRI)