Abdolreza Ghanbari, a 44-year-old lecturer of Payam e Nour University, was arrested at his home in Pakdasht on 4 January 2010. He was charged with Moharebeh (enmity towards God) for receiving unsolicited emails from an armed opposition group, to which he does not belong. While in detention at the notorious Evin Prison, Prof. Ghanbari was interrogated for 25 days in a row and forced to confess under duress to unproven charges.
Nasrin Sotoudeh was his lawyer until she was herself condemned
to a six year sentence in Evin prison for "propaganda against the
regime" and "acting against national security". In 2007, Prof. Ghanbari
had already been detained for 120 days and sentenced to a six-month
suspension from teaching and exiled from Sari to Pakdasht. Prof.
Ghanbari has no known political connections. He was previously involved
in teacher union activities until his union ITTA was dissolved in 2007.
Prof. Ghanbari's death sentence has been confirmed by Tehran's Appeal
Court, Branch 36 in April 2010. He has since been waiting on death row. A
request for pardon was rejected on February 28 by the Commission of
Justice in Tehran. It means that authorities are allowed to proceed with
the execution. The Education International calls on the Iranian
authorities to stay the execution of Prof. Abdolreza Ghanbari and revoke
the death sentence; to drop all charges against all detained trade
unionists and release them immediately; to comply with the international
labour standards and respect the rights of Iranian workers to freedom
of association, assembly and expression.
Go HERE to join the gobal solidarity campaign and help save this trade unionist's life.