Iranian state media bosses challenge EU human rights sanctions despite “undeniable evidence”

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Justice for Iran (JFI) – 1 May 2015: The European Court of Justice will be hearing an official complaint by two of the most senior figures in Iran’s state media who have asked that their names are removed from an EU human rights sanctions list.

Mohammad Sarafraz, the head of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), and Hamid Reza Emadi, the head of news for Press TV, a state English language channel, were subjected to an EU travel ban and asset freeze in 2013 after both of them had broadcast forced confessions from detainees who had been tortured or mistreated.

Justice for Iran (JFI) will participate as a third party, the court has decided, when this case is heard on May 5. JFI has worked closely with the victims of forced confessions and their relatives. It has published several reports on the Press TV’s role in violation of human rights and compiled substantial evidence against Sarafraz and Emadi.

The victims included Maziar Bahari, an Iranian-Canadian journalist, who was shown on Press TV making a forced confession of espionage after being tortured in 2009. Other journalists, political activists and members of the Arab and Kurdish minorities were also shown on Press TV making forced confessions.

Justice for Iran (JFI) will participate as a third party, the court has decided, when this case is heard on May 5, as JFI has worked closely with the victims of forced confessions and their relatives.

The EU has so far adopted restrictive measures against 87 Iranian officials because of their involvement in serious human rights abuse. Sarafraz and Emadi both deny being human rights violators. But Dr. Reinhard Marx, the lawyer representing Justice for Iran, says: “We will make every effort to ensure that the EU’s earlier verdict remains unaltered and we have a good chance to succeed. Both Sarafraz and Emadi are high-ranking government officials and there is undeniable evidence against both of them”.

Sarafraz and Emadi have “continued to broadcast forced confessions even after being sanctioned by the EU,” added Shadi Sadr, the executive director of Justice for Iran. “The fact that they challenged the EU decision itself shows how effectively the restrictive measures can make the lives of human rights violators difficult. This is the reason why the EU should be willing to expand these measures, as long as there is no meaningful change in the human rights situation in Iran”.

The hearing on May 5, which will begin at 9.30am in case of Hamid Reza Emadi and at 3.30pm for Mohammad Sarafraz, is open to the public.

For further information, please contact Dr. Reinhard Marx, the lawyer for Justice for Iran (for English and German interviews): +49 (69) 24 27 17 34

For interviews with some of the victims and their relatives, please contact us at: info@justiceforiran.org

 For further reading please use the following links:

Rights body slams Iran Press TV for airing “forced confessions”

Cut! Take Press TV off the Air

Arab Prisoners Expose Press TV’s Role in Extracting Confessions Under Torture

Urgent Appeal to United Nations Special Rapporteurs: Ahwazi Arab Activists Tortured, Risk Execution in Iran

Human Rights Violator: Mohammad Sarafraz

Human Rights Violator: Hamid Reza Emadi

 

 

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