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Urgent Appeal for the Immediate Release of seventy-four Political Prisoners charged with participating in a peaceful gathering at Cyrus the Great Day of commemoration in Pasargadae.

Date: December 19, 2016 No : 2037-16

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon 
Secretary General
The United Nations
New York, NY

Your Excellency,

We kindly request and urge your support in demanding the immediate release of all prisoners detained and imprisoned by the Islamic Republic’s security forces in Iran, for attending a peaceful gathering in celebration of the commemorative day of Cyrus the Great on October 29th, 2016. This day is celebrated by many Iranians who believe in human rights, freedom, and secularism. The current regime in Iran claims that celebrating the anniversary of Cyrus the Great is against the national and Islamic interests of the Islamic Republic. This theocratic regime continues to oppress the Iranian people with great savagery in total disregard of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations” Charter, conventions, resolutions and declarations.
Every year on October twenty-ninth, thousands of Iranians congregate around the tomb of Cyrus the Great to celebrate his entrance into Babylon in 539 B.C.E bearing the Cyrus Cylinder, commonly recognized as the first Charter of Human Rights, which he placed under the walls of Babylon. The ancient ruler founded the Persian Empire more than 2,500 years ago, more than a millennia before Islam.
This year, however, Iranians used this day to peacefully demonstrate and voice their frustration and outrage against the oppressive policies of the regime, drawing the ire of the country’s ruling Islamic Theocracy. Thousands of people gathered in Pasargadae to celebrate the values which the ancient king stood for: freedom, justice and social equality, while chanting “Iran is our Country, Cyrus is our father.” At the end of the day’s proceedings which lasted close to eight hours, at least 300 people were detained by the Islamic Republic’s security forces, and according to the last reports, at least 74 of the participants in Pasargadae were sentenced to one to eight years of imprisonment by Judge Sadati of the first branch of the Revolutionary Islamic Court in Shiraz. They are currently being held at the Central Prison in Shiraz.
A source close to the non-partisan and independent organization, Human Rights in Iran has reported that the, “the head of the Revolutionary Islamic Court of Shiraz has denied the detainees access to lawyers and has demanded repentance statements from the participants in exchange for their freedom, but later he verbally sentenced them to prison terms.”
Ali Salehi, the Prosecutor General of Fars Province, announced the arrest of the ‘major players’ at the rally and said, “The actions of these individuals were monitored by the security, intelligence and law enforcement personnel.”
We have attached the names of the 74 innocent Iranians who have been, arrested, and summarily sentenced and imprisoned by the regime.

Once again, we appeal to your high office and the international community to support us for the immediate and unconditional release of the innocent individuals who peacefully gathered on the occasion of celebrating Cyrus the Great Day. It is with an emphasis on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a non-violent solution for the future of Iran that we seek the moral support of your high office for the unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience.

I thank you sincerely for your support and attention to this urgent humanitarian matter.

Respectfully yours,

(Signed) Reza Pahlavi
President of the National Council of Iran for Free Elections