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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2010
1:10 PM

CONTACT: National Lawyers Guild (NLG)

Paige Cram, Communications Coordinator, 212-679-5100, ext. 15, communications@nlg.org

National Lawyers Guild Calls on Iranian Government to Halt Executions and Arbitrary Detentions

NEW YORK - February 18 - On the opening of the United Nations Human Rights Council's 7th Session Universal Period Review of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the National Lawyers Guild calls upon the Iranian government to halt the execution of and to immediately release those detained arbitrarily for engaging in peaceful protest, to investigate reports of their ill-treatment, and to fully respect the Iranian citizens' right to freedom of expression and assembly.

The National Lawyers Guild reiterates the grave concerns of UN experts about reports of killings, ongoing arrests, use of excessive police force, and the ill-treatment and possible torture of detainees. "We would like to emphasize the UN High Commissioner's reminder to the government of Iran that it is obligated to protect human rights defenders, as well as the press, from any form of violence, intimidation, or discrimination, and to hold accountable those who engage in such activities," said Jeanne Mirer, Co-Chair of the National Lawyers Guild International Committee.

"Today, we join international human rights organizations in condemning the extra-judicial executions and arbitrary convictions of political activists aimed at intimidating and silencing the people of Iran," said Nancy Hormachea, Co-Chair of the Iran Subcommittee of the National Lawyers Guild. "In particular, we are gravely concerned for the fate of at least 16 defendants who face imminent execution or harsh and repressive punishment for participating in peaceful post-June 12th rallies." More than 3,000 peaceful political activists remain in detention and are at grave risk of mistreatment.

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The National Lawyers Guild is dedicated to the need for basic and progressive change in the structure of our political and economic system. Through its members--lawyers, law students, jailhouse lawyers and legal workers united in chapters and committees--the Guild works locally, nationally and internationally as an effective political and social force in the service of the people.



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