20 April 2012


Mounting concerns for translator Mohammad Soleimani Nia

(WiPC/IFEX) - 19 April 2012 - PEN International's Writers in Prison Committee is seriously concerned for the welfare of literary translator Mohammad Soleimani Nia, who has started a hunger strike in protest at his detention. Soleimani Nia has been held without charge since 10 January 2012, and is said to be in a fragile condition. PEN fears that he is held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

According to PEN's information, Mohammad Soleimani Nia, aged 39, was detained on 10 January 2012 after responding to a summons to report to the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. After arriving at court, he was accompanied by security guards to his home in Karaj, outside Tehran, which he shares with his parents. The guards searched the house and seized computer equipment and documents before taking him away.

Soleimani Nia has been under pressure since late November 2011, when he was questioned by security and intelligence officers and banned from leaving Iran. He is believed to be targeted for developing the professional social networking website U24, launched by Soleimani Nia in April 2007 to help Iranian professionals build links with one another.

Soleimani Nia is translator of the book Funny in Farsi by Iranian American writer Firoozeh Dumas. He is held in solitary confinement in Tehran's Evin prison, notorious for its harsh conditions. Prior to the start of his hunger strike on 2 April 2012 he was said to be in a fragile condition, leading to mounting concerns for his well -being.

Please send appeals:

Protesting the detention of literary translator Mohammad Soleimani Nia;

Calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory;

Expressing serious concerns for his well-being in detention, and urging that he has full access to his family, lawyer and medical care.

Appeals to:

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street,
Islamic Republic of Iran.

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri
Tehran 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran.


His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency,
Palestine Avenue,
Azerbaijan Intersection,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Via Foreign Ministry: +98 21 6 674 790
(mark: "Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad")

If possible please send a copy of your appeal to the diplomatic representative for Iran in your country.


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At this point, would publish: "Translator and poet arrested, whereabouts unknown"
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