Activists around the world are rallying urgently to stop the Iranian government from executing 22-year-old Saman Naseem, who was arrested five years ago when he was still a teenager for being a member of an armed opposition group.
Iran is a signatory on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and human rights workers say Naseem's execution would violate its obligations under this treaty.
— Tavaana (@Tavaana) February 18, 2015
Amnesty International has been leading a call to action to stop the execution scheduled for today, February 19. Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, explained:
That the Iranian authorities are preparing to put to death a young man who’s been tortured for 97 days to ‘confess’ when he was 17 years old beggars belief. ..Saman’s execution must be immediately stopped and his case thoroughly reviewed.
In a letter published by Amnesty, Naseem said the conditions of his incarceration have been severe:
During the first days, the level of torture was so severe that it left me unable to walk. All my body was black and blue. They hung me from my hands and feet for hours. I was blindfolded during the whole period of interrogations and torture, and could not see the interrogation and torture officers. They repeatedly told me that they had arrested my family members including my father, my mother, and my brother. They told me that they would kill me right there and would cover my grave with cement. When I wanted to sleep during nights, they would not let me rest by making noises using different devices, including by constantly banging on the door. I was in a state between madness and consciousness. I could not have any contact with my family during this time. During the trial, even the presiding judge threatened me with more beatings a number of times and my lawyers were removed under pressure.
A social media campaign using the hashtag #SaveSaman is underway to tag Iranian officials in pleas to halt to Naseem's execution. Many Twitter users have been tagging @khamenei_ir, the account of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader.
— AmnestyInternational (@AmnestyOnline) February 17, 2015