His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Kameni
Islamic Republic of Iran
I am writing on behalf of PEN USA, part of a worldwide writers organization with an 82-year history of defending freedom of expression through the written word.
PEN is concerned with the detention of journalist Mohsen Sazegara. He was arrested on June 15, 2003 for publishing an article on his website which called for "a profound change of the constitution." He is being held at Evin Prison in Tehran, and PEN requests information about any charges against him. In addition, Sazegara suffers from a severe heart condition, and needs a special type of medication.
PEN feels that Mohsen Sazegara is exercising his right to free expression, which is protected under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Iran is a signatory. Article 19 states that, "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice."
PEN calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Mohsen Sazegara, on the grounds that he is exercising his right to free expression. In addition, PEN requests that Sazegara receive proper medical care while in prison.