Wednesday 28 April 2010

French union UL CGT Chinon declares its solidarity with Jamal

ON 27 April the French union UL CGT Chinon (Indre-et-Loire)has unanimously adopted a resolution in solidarity with Jamal Saberi. In their meeting the UL CGT Chinon declared their support for Jamal and demanded from the Japanese authorities the release of Jamal and to cancel his deportation order.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

The Free Jamal! Campaign - Call for financial help

It has been just over a month since Iranian activist Jamal Saberi (real name Jalal Amanzadeh Nouei) was detained by the immigration authorities in Tokyo with the intention of deporting him to Iran. A few days after his detention the wheels had been put in motion and the Free Jamal! campaign had been launched by the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR). In the last four weeks we have been able to do a significant amount of work.

We have managed to put political and judicial obstacles in the way of Jamal’s deportation from Japan to Iran. From Toronto to London, from Berlin to Tokyo, people have come out to protest against the deportation and in support of Jamal’s release from detention. The Japanese government has been made aware of the heavy human and political consequences Jamal’s deportation would have. The danger of imminent deportation has decreased slightly; however, Jamal is still in detention, still in danger of being deported quickly, so there is no rest yet! The Ministry of Justice in Japan can very swiftly pass through to the final stages of deportation; the Japanese government can ignore the human and political consequences of deporting Jamal. The harsh reality that we are facing: Jamal is in a bad physical condition in a detention centre with awful conditions for asylum seekers.

We must keep the pressure up in order to free him and to get him refugee status in Japan or somewhere else safe.

All our efforts, the public outreach work, the demonstrations, the meetings, organising, the legal research and actions, the trip to Japan, the lobbying and the phone calls – all of this needs you financial help! So far we have been able to do our work based on personal resources and voluntary work. But without your immediate help, we cannot go on keeping up the pressure to fight for Jamal’s release. We need to have money in order to go forward, to continue and to be able to not only get Jamal released from detention but to find a safe place for him. You can support Jamal and the Free Jamal! campaign by making a donation to the campaign by clicking here:

You can pay online with your credit card via the secure Paypal system of Count Me In – Iran of which IFIR is a member. Please mark your donations with ‘Jamal’. If you are in the UK you can also send us a cheque, please check the website for details. If you prefer to make a donation in another way, please contact us at: or call +44 (0) 750 797 8745

Thank you!

Patty Debonitas
Free Jamal! Campaign

Monday 12 April 2010

Mission in Japan: Amnesty, UNHCR...all on the case and latest photo of Jamal

Farshad Hosseini had some extremely busy days before his mission in Japan for Jamal ended. On Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 April he had several high profile meetings in a push to move Jamal’s case forward. He met with the leader of the Social Democratic Party and an MP, union leaders, anti-war movement leaders, UNHCR Japan and Amnesty International Japan.

He met Ms Mizohu Fukushima, Minister of State and leader of the Social Democratic Party and Mr Hattori Ryoichi, MP. Farshad discussed Jamal’s case with Ms Fukushima and she said that she would follow it up with the Minitstry of Justice and the immigration authorities.

Farshad also met with the deputy secretary of the National Union of Workers in Japan, Nakajima Hiroshi

and Mr. Ken Takada, leader of the widely known anti-war movement in Japan, organisers of the largest anti-war protest in Japan. Both promised to help free Jamal.

Farshad went to see the Shinji Kubo responsible for internal relations the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Japan.He talked to him in detail about Jamal’s situation and the inhumane treatment of the immigrantion authorities of Jamal. Farshad stressed that the UNHCR has been made aware of the violation of refugee conventions and international agreements by the immigration authorities. UNHCR has a duty to be sensitive aobut this issue and intervene immediately. UNHCR as an international observer organisation can and must advice the Japanese ministry of justice and the immigration authorities to recognise Jamal as a refugge and in case of refusal, UNHCR must find another way to transfer Jamal to to a another safe country and take urgent action. Mr Kubo said that UNHCR in Japan cannot take any action outside the framework of Japanese law as Japan accepts refugees and is in charge of issuing refugee status. However given the circumstances of Jamal UNHCR will try to advise the Japanese government regarding Jamal's specific case.

Farshad also met with the general director of Amnesty International in Japan, Mr Makoto Teranaka and the refugee secretary of Amnesty Ms Hiroka Shoji. Farshad talked to them in detail about Jamal's case and stated that he expects Amnesty as an organisation for Human Rights' laws to to act on behalf of Jamal and to put pressure on the Ministry of Justice and the immigration authorities so that they accept Jamal as a refugee. Mr Teranaka said that Amnesty is aware of Jamal's case and that he had also visited Jamal in detention. He said that Amnesty is trying for his asylum status but that they would need more information regarding similar cases in Iran where people have been prosecuted. By referring to these kind of cases, Amnesty could prove the Iranian government is prosecuting activists from abroad. Farshad is going to follow this up and send Amnesty Japan materials, but if anyone has information on this please get in touch with us and we will forward it. At the end of their meeting they had a good discussion on how to make the Free Jamal! campaign more effective.

Farshad had also numerous interviews with journalists from newspapers who interviewed him about Jamal’s situation and the human rights situation in Iran.

On Thursday evening Farshad was invited to speak at the activists and young supporters of the Free Workers' Union of Japan seminar. He spoke about the current revolution in Iran and the situation and developments since the revolution in 1979. After the seminar Farshad talked about Jamal's case. An open discussion followed in which ideas on how to extend the Free Jamal! campaign in Japan with the support of unions were discussed

Last but not least Farshad went to see Jamal again in detention. Here is Jamal's photo (taken secretly) from behind the glass screen that separates him from his visitors.

Farshad has now returned from his mission in Japan and is following up on the promised actions by the many people his has met there, so watch this space for more news from Japan.

Friday 9 April 2010

Washington protest this Sunday

Mission Free Iran is having another protest in front of the Japanese Embassy this Sunday, April 11 at 3pm, to advocate on behalf of Jamal Saberi.

Address: 2520 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

All are welcome to join!

Wednesday 7 April 2010

More news and days of action from Japan

The first actions from the Japanese unions:
The National Railway Workers' Union and the International Labour Solidarity committee have both asked their international union's networks to support Jamal Saberi. They also organized two demonstrations in support of Jamal and immigrants and refugees' rights in Japan which will take place on 18 April and 9 May 2010.

They agreed and they are working on to make 9 May an international day of support for Jamal.

Iran Solidarity Melbourne Free Jamal protest 16 April

Dear Human Rights Activists
As you are aware, the Islamic Republic continues to openly arrest, torture and execute political activists within its borders. What you may not be aware of is that the Islamic regime has been seeking international assistance in capturing and silencing anti-regime activists living abroad. In a move that has surprised many of us, we have learned that the Japanese government is supporting the Islamic Republic’s efforts by initiating deportation procedures against prominent Iranian dissident and human rights activist Jamal Saberi (Jalal Amanzadeh Nouei), a resident of Japan for the past 20 years.

Japan’s effort to forcibly return an Iranian political activist constitutes a violation of the international principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits forcibly returning a person to a country where their life or freedom would be threatened. Mr. Saberi has a well-founded fear of persecution by the Islamic regime: if he is returned there is no question that he, like all other dissidents who fall into the hands of this regime will be detained, tortured, and likely executed. He therefore warrants recognition as a political refugee and merits protections under UN agreements on the Status of Refugees, to which Japan is a signatory.

The Saberi case has global implications: If Japan flouts human rights standards and international principles on the status of refugees, consequences for refugees worldwide will be dire. We consider especially the impact of Japan’s actions on thousands of new Iranian refugees surviving precariously in Turkey, which has in the past violated the principle of non-refoulement and has begun systematic though unofficial persecution of this new wave of Iranian refugees.

If the Japanese government delivers Saberi into the hands of the Islamic Republic, Japan will be held responsible not only for Saberi’s inevitable torture and execution in Iran, but for setting a barbaric and inhumane precedent that will have dire consequences for all of the world’s asylum-seekers.

We hope that Human Rights activists in Australia will join with the global movement that demands that Saberi be freed and recognized as a refugee from a murderous government, and as a human being.

We are demanding that the Japanese government adhere to its international and domestic legal commitments to the principle of non-refoulement, release Saberi from prison, stop the deportation proceedings, and grant Mr. Saberi the refugee status that he has long ago applied for. To this end, Iran Solidarity Melbourne is organising a protest action outside the Japanese Consulate in Melbourne, 360 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, on Friday the 16th of April. We invite all those who support the rights of refugees and asylum seekers to show their support by joining us at this protest.

More significant support for Jamal in Japan!

Japan report 6 April 2010
Today was another busy and successful day for Farshad Hosseini on his mission in Japan. He met with representatives of the Japanese Railway Workers' union, International Workers Solidarity and the Refugee Support Network in Japan today.

Farshad met with Mr Tanaka Yasuhiro, the president of Doro-Chiba (National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba), Mr Yamamoto, the secretary treasurer of International Labor Solidarity Committee of Doro-Chiba, Mr Seto and Mr Tazaki as well as Ms Sogame from the Refugee Support groups.Farshad Hosseini asked for support from the trade unions and organisations for Jamal as a symbol and representative of the opposition and revolution against the Islamic regime of Iran.

The TU representatives stated that they know Jamal and that he has been their link with Iran and the opposition there. They promised to use all their resources including international links to make sure that Jamal is supported.

This is a significant boost to the free Jamal campaign!

Farshad also met with Mrs Noriko Watanabe, Jamal's solicitior and discussed Jamal's case in detail and ways of supporting his case. Mrs Watanabe stated that the campaign to free Jamal has helped to temporarily stop the deportation of Jamal, but the Ministry of Immigration could speedily refuse Jamal’s case and deport him. She stated that the Immigration officials believe that the ‘supposed danger to Jamal is political propaganda’ and 'no danger awaits him'. She also stated that the most probable route is political for Jamal rather than legal, or it may be possible to facilitate to transfer him to another country.Mrs Watanabe has asked that all correspondance and support be copied to her directly to be added to his case as supporting documents.

Farshad has also tried to contact the Ministry of Immigration, they have refused to see him but have confirmed that they are aware of his case. Farshad is planning to see UNHCR and Amnesty International.

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Free Union of Workers in Japan supports Jamal!

Japan report 5 April 2010

Our man in Japan Farshad Hosseini is busy meeting and lobbying in Tokyo on behalf of Jamal. Today he met with the Free Union of Worker’s in Japan and its president Mr Yagamachi. Mr Yagamachi said that Jamal Saberi is well-known to the union and its members as a political activist and that they have had many meetings with Jamal. He said that Jamal was very active on behalf of the people of Iran and he was like an ‘ambassador’ for workers in Japan.

Farshad was invited to speak at the executive committee member’s meeting where he spoke about the uprisings in Iran and the demands of the people there. He then spoke about Jamal and his situation in the detention centre. All members of the Executive Committee of the union agreed to wholeheartedly support Jamal and the Free Jamal! campaign and to save him from deportation. One of the first tasks would be to get other unions and organisations, like the National Union of Japan, on board. They also made a financial contribution to the campaign of 50,000 Yen (about £350.00).

Farshad will be speaking at a member’s meeting of the Free Union of Worker’s in Japan on Thursday 8 April about
‘Revolution in the context of the labour movement’. He is also still trying to be seen at the Ministry of Justice in Tokyo.

Saturday 3 April 2010

Washington protest this Sunday

Our friends from Mission Free Iran are staging their third Sunday protest (and fourth in total) in front of the Japanese embassy in Washington DC this Sunday 4 April. If you are around, join them!

Washington DC, USA
Sunday 4 April
Japanese Embassy
2520 Massachusetts Ave NW

For more info go here

Friday 2 April 2010

Report and video from London protest

We gathered at 4 opposite the Japanese embassy. There is a big four lane road between us and the security staff of the embassy who kept his eyes on us all the time. A big road that brings plenty of people along to find out about Jamal. At first we stand quietly with our banner and placards. Then we started using the loudhailer; it is strong enough to get across the road and down the road, despite the traffic. As soon as we started to speak the security staff at the embassy moved into action and after a couple of minutes the police arrived. They had a brief conversation with the staff and left. I guess the police informed them about our freedom of speech, even with a loudhailer. The nice thing that happened once we started using the loudhailer was that many people stopped and listened to what we had to say about Jamal and his situation in Japan. A human rights lawyer from Japan talked to us and offered support. Others expressed their support as well. We chanted slogans like: Deportation to Iran is execution by Japan! which we had also painted onto the banner. We also chanted: Shame on Japan! One of us went in front of the embassy to distribute leaflets about Jamal and got rid of all of them. Some people already knew about Jamal’s case. All in all a handful of people with a strong loudhailer can make a huge difference! We hope that the Japanese embassy and the Japanese government realise that we are indeed making their treatment of Jamal and other refugees in Japan very public. Last week we went to the embassy for an appointment with embassy staff and this week we chose to stay outside to let the public know too what is happening. I think it was a good decision.
To be continued…

Here is the video with parts of our speeches:

Thursday 1 April 2010

Global day Toronto

Global action day - photo essay

Here are our photos from the global action day in support of Jamal Saberi!




(UN Bustamante press conference)


Washington DC

(organised by Mission Free Iran)