Save Shiva from the threat of "Moharebeh", against God!

Shiva Nazar Ahari, Iranian human rights activist has been in detention for over 8 months. She was detained along with Koohyar Goodarzi and a number of other human rights activists when they were on board a bus to go to Ghom, the religous city to attend the funeral of the Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. She was kept in solitary and under interrogation for a long time time. Shiva is about to be tried in an Islamiuc court, charged with "Moharebeh", an Arabic term which means Against God, which carries death penalty in Iran.  Her family and lawyer are very concerned of this specific charge. We are concerned of this specific charge.

Since her detention, a world-wide campagin to free Shiva has been launched and human rights organisations and individuals have demanded her release. shiva had been detained on several occasions but released on bail.  

Shiva was a brillaint university student who was dismissed from university for her political activities. Shiva has not committed any crime; has not worked with any anti-government armed group or organisation in her young life. Shiva has dedicated her time defending the rights of those Iranians who could not defend themselves.

"Moharebeh" or against God is a broad-base and unspecified term which can be used against any and in any settings. How can it be demonstrated and proved that one has worked against God? By defending human rights? By working with women's rights activists? By exposing the crimes that were committed in the Iranian prisons especially during the weeks after the disputed presidential elections in the notorious Kahrizak detention centre where four were murdered in 2009?

The creation of such term like many other vague terms by the Iranian judiciary serves one and only one purpose: to terrorise the Iranian civil rights activists and stop their work. If some one like Shiva is charged with "Moharebeh" then anyone else can be charged as well. Shiva is about to be tried in a court where she cannot provide proof of guilt or innocence. The term "Moharebeh" is a dangerous term which leaves little space for manouvre.

We, human rights activists are extremely concerned about Shiva's forthcoming court appearance.

We ask human rights organisations and individuals to take immidiate action:

-Write to the Iranian Embassy in your place of residence stating the matter and ask them to relay your concerns to the Iranian General prosecutor of the revolutionary court, head of judiciary system, Mr Larijani, United Nations Human rights Commision, European Human Rights Commission, your MP and Foreign Secretary.

- Write to the press and in the press, websites and blogs about Shiva.

- Ask known personalities such as writers, film makers, artists and Noble Prize winners to intervene in the case and demand the charges against Shiva be be dropped.

- Start "Save Shiva from Moharebeh" campaign in your area and involve people in the case.   

Rouhi Shafii

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