Today (2 October), Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy Markus Löning issued the following statement on the arrest of Iranian human rights activist Shiva Nazar Ahari on 8 September 2012:
I was shocked to learn that Shiva Nazar Ahari, Iranian human rights activist and recipient of the Esslingen Human Rights Prize, was arrested on 8 September 2012 and subsequently incarcerated at Evin prison in Tehran.
The Iranian judicial and security authorities continue to systematically target human rights activists and, in so doing, are creating a climate of fear and repression in Iran. There can be no justification whatsoever for the conviction of people based on their commitment to human rights and the freedom of opinion. With these actions, Iran is isolating itself from the international community.
I call on the Iranian judiciary to immediately release Shiva Nazar Ahari, Javid Houtan Kian, Abdolfattah Soltani, Nasrin Sotoudeh and all other political prisoners, and to honour the international commitments Iran has made to protect the civil and political rights of its people.
On 19 September 2010, Shiva Nazar Ahari, a member of the Iranian human rights organization “Committee of Human Rights Reporters” (CHRR), had been sentenced to six years in prison and a fine of 400 US dollars, in lieu of 74 lashes. During appeal proceedings, the Tehran Revolutionary Court reduced the sentence to four years of so-called exile imprisonment. On 8 September 2012, Ahari was arrested in the courtroom; she has been held in Evin prison ever since.