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Iran: Jailed Ahwazi journalist appeals to EU chief

Ahwazi Arab journalist Mohammad Hassan Fallahiya has sent a letter to the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, smuggled from Evin Prison where he is being held and delivered to Solana by the Human Rights Activists in Iran group. Fallahiya was a correspondent for the Iranian government-owned Al-Alam Arabic language satellite news network and has worked for a number of other news agencies. The letter is dated 11 October 2007.

Your Excellency, Mr. Javier Solana,

I am pleased and honoured to send this letter to you. I am an innocent man and am behind bars in an Iranian prison for my published articles and journalism. What national security did I put at risk by my journalism?

Your Excellency,

It takes a long time to talk about the problems experienced by our Arab people in Al-Ahwaz which is located in south Iran. These people are starving although the land is fertile; people are dying of third, although there are ample rivers. My homeland's prisons are full of prisoners demanding their legitimate national rights; the mouths of these people's relatives are shut over due to the fear of the executioner; and my homeland's gallows are full of hanged heads.

The EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security,

As you have close relationship with the Iranian government and Iranian politicians, and as you represent the countries which include the oldest democracies and which demand human rights throughout the world, I appeal to you to take my concerns seriously. As I am being handcuffed and have no power and strength, I see with my own eyes that how human rights have been violated and freedom of expression is absent and so forth.

Mr. Solana, after more than 10 months since my arrest, my family has been dispersed to different regions and countries. My rights as a journalist have been breached and I have been denied a solicitor. I have been charged with unfounded allegations without any evidence or justification.

I demand you to pursue not only my personal case, but the people who demand their legitimate national rights which are enshrined in international law

The EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security,

Usually journalists are honoured of being the fourth authority in their countries, in developed countries, but in third world countries including Iran they are regrettably treated as a paid mercenary.

Mr Solana,

At conclusion of my appeal, I believe it is significant to raise the issues of national [ethnic] and religious persecution in Iran as it is your humanitarian duty ... and consider my case as a prisoner who demands his people's rights and take action for my release and the realse of all Ahwazi political detainees ...

With many thanks,

Mohammad Hassan Fallahiya

A prisoner of Evin prison.