MFI Press Release, Solidarity with Refugees

MFI Press Release: Japan’s Move to Deport Iranian Human Rights Activist Prompts Protest at Japanese Embassy


Since the June 2009 elections, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to detain, torture and execute dissidents at home, while seeking international assistance in capturing and silencing anti-regime activists living abroad. At a time when the Islamic regime is brutally repressing peaceful protesters, journalists, students, and human rights activists within its borders, Japan is supporting the regime’s efforts to silence dissidents abroad. Japan has arrested and initiated deportation procedures against Jamal Saberi, a human rights activist who fled Iran for Japan 18 years ago. Concerned citizens will gather outside the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC on March 21 2010 to condemn Japan’s complicity with the Islamic Republic.

Washington, D.C. March 16, 2010 – As the Islamic Republic continues to openly arrest, torture and execute political activists within its borders, it has also sought international assistance in capturing and silencing anti-regime activists living abroad. Supporting the regime’s efforts, Japan has begun deportation procedures against prominent Iranian dissident and human rights activist Jamal Saberi (Jalal Amanzadeh Nouei), a resident of Japan for the past 18 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. He 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.

Protesters will gather outside of the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC on March 21 2010 at 1pm to demand that Japan set the appropriate international precedent in this matter by freeing Jamal Saberi, stopping the deportation proceedings, formally establishing Saberi’s refugee status, and implementing appropriate protections to preserve his life. This protest demands that Japan uphold refugee rights according to international standards, and we extend this demand throughout the world wherever refugee rights are threatened.

Maria Rohaly
Mission Free Iran


5 thoughts on “MFI Press Release: Japan’s Move to Deport Iranian Human Rights Activist Prompts Protest at Japanese Embassy

  1. Japan pull the trigger!!!
    a few words from a danish author.

    Pull the Trigger I

    you stand up there
    condemning the free speech
    with God in your back

    Pull the Trigger II

    The man on the roof
    aimes at the people. One shot
    and Neda falls

    Pull the Trigger III

    Friday’s speech
    about Mohareb
    kills people

    Pull the Trigger IV

    liars tongue
    stone after stone throwing
    against the condemned

    Pull the Trigger V

    weapon in your hand
    Persians firing at Persians
    tears on your cheek

    Posted by Bjarne Kim Pedersen | March 17, 2010, 8:42 pm
  2. Dear Bjarne,

    Thank you for sharing this moving poem with us.


    Posted by missionfreeiran | March 20, 2010, 2:52 am
  3. All people are important stick stupid heartless decisions, human rights for all

    Posted by samuel welsh | May 10, 2010, 9:50 am


  1. Pingback: uberVU - social comments - March 20, 2010

  2. Pingback: Stoppt die Ausweisung von Jamal Saberi aus Japan! « Julias Blog - March 23, 2010

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