We the undersigned call for the release of, and dropping of all charges against, Iranian student Habibollah Latifi. This is urgent: Latifi’s execution was scheduled for 26 December 2010; it was postponed after international protests and after 300 supporters protesting outside the prison gates, but could be rescheduled at any time.
Latifi, who was a law student at Azad University in the south western province of Ilam, in Western Iran, was arrested in October 2007 and sentenced to death in July 2008 after being convicted of moharebeh (‘enmity against God’), a vaguely defined ‘crime’ for which the penalty is death. This was in connection with alleged activities on behalf of a Kurdish liberation group (Latifi is from Iran’s oppressed Kurdish minority; according to Amnesty International, sixteen Kurdish men and two women are on death row in Iran in connection with alleged ‘separatist’ activities).
On 26 December, members of his family including his father and sister were also arrested.
We call on the Iranian authorities to drop all charges against Habibollah Latifi and release him and his family. We will continue to make solidarity with Iranian student activists, who alongside workers have been at the forefront of the struggle for human rights and democracy in Iran.
Patrick Murphy, National Union of Teachers National Executive member and Leeds NUT Secretary
Olivia Bailey, National Union of Students Women’s Officer
Barnaby Raine, School and FE Students Against the Cuts
Sean Rillo Raczka, National Union of Students National Executive Committee and Birkbeck Students’ Union Chair
Alan Bailey, NUS Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Officer (Open Place)
Vicki Baars, NUS LGBT Officer (Women’s Place)
Claire Locke, London Metropolitan University SU Communications and Campaigns Officer
Louis Hartnoll, University of the Arts London SU President
Robyn Minogue, University of the Arts SU Education Officer
Wanda Canton, Queen Mary SU Women’s Officer
Katherine McMahon, Edinburgh University anti-cuts activist
Michael Chessum, NCAFC co-founder and UCL Union Education and Campaigns Officer
Daniel Lemberger Cooper, Royal Holloway Anti-Cuts Alliance and Save our services in Surrey
Bob Sutton, Merseyside Network Against Fees and Cuts
Tali Janner-Klausner, London NCAFC activist
Rowan Rheingans, Newcastle University anti-cuts activist
Jade Baker, University of Westminster SU Vice-President Education
Chris Marks, Hull University occupier
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We call on NUS and other student networks like the Education Activist Network to support the campaign and promote this statement.