Iran General NewsUS calls for release of Iranian rights activist

US calls for release of Iranian rights activist

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AFP: The United States called Wednesday for the immediate release of Iranian human rights activist Emadeddin Baghi and other jailed freedom campaigners in the Islamic republic. WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States called Wednesday for the immediate release of Iranian human rights activist Emadeddin Baghi and other jailed freedom campaigners in the Islamic republic.

Washington also urged arch rival Iran “to treat its prisoners humanely.”

Baghi, who heads the Committee for the Defense of Prisoners’ Rights and has already served several jail terms, was arrested Sunday in Iran and charged with spreading propaganda and publishing secret documents, his lawyer said.

According to the charges, Baghi obtained secret information from prisoners detained in security prisons and then disseminated this information during seminars organized by his group, the lawyer said.

“We stand with those defending the rights of the Iranian people and call upon the government of Iran to treat its prisoners humanely and release Baghi and other human rights activists, including Mansour Osanloo and Mohammed Salehi, immediately,” said Tom Casey, a State Department spokesman.

Baghi’s arrest demonstrates Tehran’s “disregard for Iranian citizens campaigning for their basic rights,” he said.

He said Baghi’s efforts to expose mistreatment of prisoners and highlight the recent increase in executions in Iran “should be lauded, not condemned” by the Iranian government.

A former journalist, Baghi over the last months has publicly protested against the wave of hangings, many in public, that have swept Iran as part of a campaign that authorities say is aimed at improving security in society.

In 2005 France awarded Baghi a human rights prize for his work campaigning against the death penalty.

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