May 21, 2020
A court of appeals in Tehran has upheld the verdict against ten citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran sentenced to more than 100 years in prison for reportedly supporting monarchy.
Documents exclusively received by Radio Farda shows some details of the legal case and the names of the convicted individuals who have been sentenced to a total of 100 years and four months.
Speaking to Radio Farda, a human rights activist Haroun Askari who recently left Iran for Turkey said, the suspects were initially sentenced by the notorious hardliner Judge Abolqassem Salavati in Branch 15 of Tehran’s “Revolutionary Court”. The verdict was upheld by Branch 36 of the same court.
“All ten suspects were from the cities of Babolsar, Gorgan, Noshahr, Shahriar Tehran, Tonekabon, and Qom. Security forces arrested them in a series of operations from May to August 2019”, Askari said, adding, “They were all transferred to the cities of Qom, and Tehran”. This means they were not participants in the large protests last November.
The detainees were interrogated by Fata (the Islamic Republic cyberspace police) in the city of Qom, and the rest by the agents of the fearsome Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Intelligence Organization.
According to Askari, all the suspects were charged with supporting monarchy and Iran’s last Crown Prince, Reza Pahlavi. Evidence mainly came from their social media accounts.
The exiled Prince is currently living in Maryland, USA.
“Assembly and collusion against the country’s security”, “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and its current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei” were other charges raised against the ten.
Furthermore, the convicted individuals have been banned for two years from leaving Iran, membership in political parties and groups, and activity in media and social media.
Besides one of the activists Ali Asghar Hassani Rad, who is still behind bars in Ward 4 of Tehran’s infamous Prison, Evin, the rest have been released on bail.
Based on the verdict, Hassani Rad has been sentenced to a total of sixteen years and seven months in jail for four separate charges. According to the Islamic Republic’s Penal Code seven and a half years is the minimum sentence.
Askari said that two other suspects with similar charges have been sentenced by another notorious hardliner Judge Mohammad Moqisseh but have appealed.
Meanwhile, he noted that Moqisseh and Salavati had been blacklisted and sanctioned by Washington.
The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Moqisseh and Salavati on December 19, 2019 for punishing Iranian and dual citizens for exercising their right to free speech and assembly.
In its statement on Thursday, December 19, 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department announced: “Abolqassem Salavati and Mohammad Moqisseh oversaw the Iranian regime’s miscarriage of justice in show trials in which journalists, attorneys, political activists, and members of Iran’s ethnic and religious minority groups were sentenced to lengthy prison terms, lashes, and even execution”.