By Pooya Stone
Every day we are witnessing human rights violations in Iran without any hope that will be changing. And day by day the people are facing new facts.
Iran protesters gave lengthy prison terms
The Iranian courts have sentenced many of the peaceful protesters arrested during the crackdown on the November 2019 nationwide uprising to lengthy prison terms.
Siamak Moqimi Mo’meni, who is just 18, was arrested in Parand township by Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) agents. He was convicted of “assembly and conspiracy, propaganda activities against the state, and insulting [Supreme leader Ali Khamenei], and [President Hassan Rouhani]” and sentenced to 10 years in prison by Branch 24 of Tehran’s revolutionary court.
Kianoush Jamali, 27, was arrested on November 19 by IRGC agents from the same garrison. He was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison by branch 26 of the so-called revolutionary court. While 31-year-old Milad Arsanjani was sentenced to five years in prison, by branch 1 of the so-called revolutionary court in Shahriar, south of Tehran. Both were convicted on the bogus charges of assembly and conspiracy against the state and insulting Khamenei and Rouhani.
Milad Arsanjani, 21, was sentenced to five years in prison and 74 lashes by Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court for “disruption of public order” and “assembly and collusion against national security”. His sentence was commuted to three months because he is the sole carer for his elderly mother and has no previous criminal record, but only if he studies and writes three books designated by the court for six months.
There were over 12,000 protesters arrested during the November uprising, which broke out over the tripling of fuel prices and quickly became about regime change, but three months on, the authorities still refuse to publish the true number of the martyrs, as well as those wounded and arrested. There are many reports that those arrested are being subjected to savage torture in order to extract forced confessions.
The Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran wrote on February 8: “The Iranian Resistance condemns these inhuman sentences and again underscores the need for the dispatch of a fact-finding mission to Iran to visit the prisons and assess the situation of those arrested. Silence and inaction vis-à-vis these atrocities only embolden the mullahs to continue and intensify their suppression of the Iranian people.”
Some of the arrested were classified as “leaders” of the protests and have been denied legal representation. In other cases, the bail amounts are so high that the families cannot afford to pay them.
Mohammad Javad Kolivand, a member of Parliament from Karaj, said that the protests took place in at least 719 parts of Iran.
The government sentences 7 Sunni prisoners to death after 10 years in prison
The Iranian Supreme Court upheld death sentences against seven Sunni prisoners after holding them in prison for over 10 years.
The lawyer for the seven Sunni prisoners of conscience held in Raja’i Shahr (Gohardasht) Prison - Anwar Khezri, Kamran Sheikheh, Farhad Salimi, Ghassem Abasteh, Khosrow Besharat, Ayyub Karimi and Davoud Abdollahi - was informed of their verdict on February 3.
They were first arrested on December 7, 2009, following the murder of Mamusta Abdu Rahim Tina by anonymous individuals on October 28, 2008. They were held in prison on undetermined status for ten years – their death sentence in 2015 was rejected by Supreme Court Judge Ali Razini – until July 8, 2018.
On that date, Khezri and Besharat were given ten-year prison sentences, which they had served by this point, and Sheikheh was sentenced to death.
In April 2019, Khezri, Abasteh, Abdollahi, and Karimi were put in solitary confinement for three days in the detention center of Tehran’s Shapour Department of Detection to undergo interrogation and DNA tests.
The case was retried on Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on June 17 to 19, but their lawyer was not allowed to speak or defend his clients.
Judge Mohammad Moghisseh gave the death sentence to all the defendants and the case was sent again to Branch 41 of the Supreme Court where Mullah Ali Razini upheld the verdict.
The seven Sunni prisoners have protesters this several times, including by hunger strike and open letters from prison, in which they say that they were tortured into making false confessions
Besharat wrote: “[In] the detention center of the Intelligence Department of Urmia where I was held for a whole month in solitary confinement… they implemented various forms of torture on me. Very often, from midnight until morning, they created horrible sounds, moaning, and screams of people under torture. I was so scared I couldn’t sleep, and this was horrible psychological torture for me.”
He went on to discuss the physical tortures, which included tying his hands behind his back for hours until he cried from pain, hanging him from the ceiling by his handcuffed hands, and flogging him with heavy power cables
He wrote: “In such circumstances when I was under torture and threats, the interrogator wrote down what he was dictating to me and ordered me to sign the papers and put my fingerprint on them. In those moments I couldn’t understand what was going on and what was I signing. They dictated to me to undertake membership in the Al-Qaeda and complicity in the murder of a soldier guarding a bank who had been run over.”
While in February 2019 Khezri wrote about the hardships he had faced, including torture, lack of access to a lawyer of his choosing, and continued obstructions to justice.