August 13, 2021
Roozbeh Piri, a journalist and civil activist living in Tabriz, was fined this week for posting images to Instagram showing the effects of physical torture his brother had endured while detained by Iran’s paramilitary Basij.
According to reports received by IranWire, Branch 12 of the East Azarbaijan Court of Appeals upheld a ruling of the Court of First Instance, sentencing Piri to pay a fine of five million tomans for “spreading lies on cyberspace.”
He had published the images and his own report on March 2, 2021, saying his brother Yashar Piri suffered respiratory tract damage and kidney failure after being tortured by Basij forces in a Revolutionary Guards Intelligence detention center in Tabriz.
Yashar, a civil activist living in Tabriz, was arrested by Basij forces on February 21, 2021, on World Mother Language Day, for participating in a Turkish literature campaign and for distributing Turkish language books to citizens in Tabriz. East Azerbaijan province is ethnically Turkish but the Iranian government suppresses efforts to promote indigenous culture.
Yashar Piri was released on a bail of 50 million tomans. But he was soon hospitalized at Imam Reza Hospital, on March 9, because of the injuries he sustained during his detention.
Roozbeh Piri is the editor of Tabriz magazine, a translator, and founder of Navid Etedal student organization at Tabriz Azad University.