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Filmmakers Panahi, Rasoulof: 6 Years Prison; 11 Reputed Jundullah Hanged

21 Dec 2010 09:592 Comments

Press Roundup provides selected excerpts of news and opinion pieces from the Iranian and international media. Click on the link to the story to read it in full. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. The inclusion of various opinions in no way implies their endorsement by Tehran Bureau. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the stories in perspective. You can follow other news items through our Twitter feed.

THE LEAD

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Jafar Panahi Sentenced To Six Years In Prison, Banned From Making Films For 20 Years

ICHRI | Dec 20

According to a Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), film director Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison and 20 years' ban from making films, writing any type of screen play, and traveling abroad by Branch 26 of [the] Tehran Revolutionary Courts. Another Iranian film director, Mohammad Rasoulof, was also sentenced to six years in prison.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reached Jafar Panahi in Tehran to seek his reaction to the news. He told the Campaign he was shocked at the news, but refused to grant an interview.

"The sentence was served to myself and my client on 18 December, and it is unfortunately, a very heavy sentence," Farideh Gheirat, defense lawyer of Jafar Panahi, told ISNA. "Mr. Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of assembly and collusion and [propaganda] against the regime, and to complete his punishment, he is banned from social rights such as making films, writing any type of screen play, traveling abroad, and interviewing with the media and national and international publications for 20 years," she added.

Mohammad Rasoulouf's sentence of six years in prison on charges of assembly and collusion and [propaganda] against the regime was also issued.

Jafar Panahi was arrested on 1 March along with his family and 15 guests at his home; he was released on bail on 25 May, after he had gone on a hunger strike and there had been an international outcry for his release. Upon his arrest on 2 March, the Tehran Prosecutor told state news agencies: "His arrest is not because he is an artist and is not political, either. This individual is a suspect for some crimes. He and another individual have been arrested with orders from the case judge, and investigations on the matter are continuing." An outspoken supporter of the Iranian post-election protesters and the Green Movement, Panahi had been previously arrested at Tehran's Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery while laying flowers on the graves of some protesters killed during the post-election demonstrations; he was released within a few hours.

Iran Filmmaker Panahi Gets Six Years in Jail: Lawyer

AFP | Dec 20

Soon after his arrest, Iranian officials said he was detained for making an "anti-regime" film about the unrest which rocked Iran after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009.

Panahi told AFP in September that the film he was shooting along with Rasoulof was about a "family and the post-election developments."

Panahi had said that "when a filmmaker does not make films it is as if he is jailed. Even when he is freed from the small jail, he finds himself wandering in a larger jail.

"The main question is: why should it be a crime to make a movie? A finished film, well, it can get banned but not the director," Panahi said.

He was, however, optimistic for the future of filmmaking in Iran despite a "restrictive" regime.

"There have always been restrictions, but over the past year it was the worst," said Panahi.

"I cannot be pessimistic though. Limitations have always existed, and this era will eventually come to an end too. It's important to have patience and resistance," said Panahi, 50, a leading figure in Iran's New Wave cinema movement.

Iran Jails Director Jafar Panahi and Stops Him Making Films for 20 Years

Guardian | Dec 20

Panahi won the Camera d'Or at the Cannes film festival in 1995 for his debut feature, The White Balloon, and the Golden Lion at Venice for his 2000 drama, The Circle. His other films include Crimson Gold and Offside. He is highly regarded around the world but his films are banned at home.

Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian studies at Columbia University, told the Guardian the sentence showed Iran's leaders could not tolerate the arts. "This is a catastrophe for Iran's cinema," he said. "Panahi is now exactly in the most creative phase of his life and by silencing him at this sensitive time, they are killing his art and talent.

Dabashi said: "What Iran is doing with the artists, is exactly similar to what Taliban did in Afghanistan. This is exactly like bombing Buddha statues by the Taliban, Iran is doing the same with its artists."

See also: "Cinema: The White Meadows" (Tehran Bureau)

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Former Jundallah leader Abdolmalek Rigi, executed in June

Iran Executes 11 Jundullah Terrorists

Press TV | Dec 20

Iran has executed 11 members of the Pakistan-based Jundullah terrorist group in the Iranian southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province, a judiciary official says.

"Eleven members of those belonging to Jundullah terrorist group who had played a role in carrying out terrorist attacks in the province (Sistan-Baluchestan) during the recent months, fighting with police, and martyring several innocent people have been hanged in Zahedan jail," IRNA quoted Ebrahim Hamidi, head of the provincial Justice Department, as saying on Monday.

"These corrupt and Mohareb (an enemy of God) elements have been identified and arrested by security and intelligence forces," Hamidi said.

He added that the elements were brought to a fair and public trial after going through all the legal and religious procedures.

Hamidi noted that the terrorists were convicted and sentenced to death for "corruption on earth, fighting against God and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and countering the sacred system of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

11 Terrorists Linked to Jundullah Group Hanged in Iran

Tehran Times | Dec 21

Speaking during a press conference, Gholam-Hussein Mohseni Ejei, the spokesperson of the Judiciary, said these criminals were arrested while carrying 300 kilograms of explosives, handguns and other weapons.

Sistan-Balouchestan has experienced numerous terrorist attacks over the past years. Terrorists use Pakistan as their safe haven.

For instance, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device outside a mosque in the southeastern city of Chabahar last Wednesday during a Shia religious ceremony, killing 35 people and injuring more than 100 others. Women and children were among the victims.

In addition, on July 15, a twin suicide bomb attack in the provincial capital Zahedan left 27 people dead and at least 300 injured.

Ahmadinejad to Zardari: Hand Over 'Terrorists'

AFP | Dec 20

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari on Monday to arrest and hand over "known terrorists," the Iranian leader's office said on its website.

In a telephone call, the Iranian president "asked Zardari to order his country's security forces to quickly arrest known terrorists and hand them over to the Islamic Republic of Iran," Ahmadinejad's office said in a statement posted on its website.

Iran claims [Jundallah (Army of God)] receives support from the intelligence services of Pakistan, Britain and the United States.

"The perpetrators of this act [the Chabahar bombing] are not only non-Muslims, but belong to no religion," the website quoted Ahmadinejad as telling Zardari.

Jundallah says it is fighting for the rights of the ethnic Sunni Baluchis in the Sistan-Baluchestan province of Iran which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Iran Hangs 11 Sunni Rebels, Urges Pakistan to Act

Reuters | Dec 20

Iran says the group is linked to al Qaeda.

Iran hoped it had neutralised Jundollah when it executed its leader, Abdolmalek Rigi, in June.

Jundollah says it is defending the rights of the Baluch people, an ethnic minority group that it says face "genocide."

A member of parliament's national security and foreign policy committee said on Sunday that "Pakistan should be served notice" to destroy what he called terrorist training camps.

"If the Pakistan government refused to take measures to destroy the terrorist centres in that country, then the Islamic Republic would have the right to take steps and make the atmosphere unsafe for the terrorists in defence of its own nationals," Kazem Jalali told the semi-official Mehr news agency.

See also: "Eleven Baluch Citizens Executed in Zahedan" (RAHANA)

OTHER NEWS

Ahmadinejad Deputy Accused of Embezzlement

Haaretz | Dec 20

The top deputy of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been accused of embezzlement, the country's attorney general said Monday.

"There are (embezzlement) charges against the first deputy (Mohammad Reza Rahimi) and we are following the case...," Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejehi was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying.

"He will face trial, but the charges against him are not yet proven and we have to wait for the first deputy's defense plea," the attorney general added.

The financial corruption charges against Rahimi were [...] supported by two lawmakers who claim to have documents proving their charges.

Deadly Earthquake Hits Iran

Al Jazeera | Dec 21

An earthquake in southeast Iran has killed at least five people and destroyed homes, a regional governor has said.

The quake struck late on Monday in a mountainous region and was given a 6.3 magnitude by the US Geological Survey.

Kerman province is said to be the worst affected area.

"Seven people have been killed and hundreds have been injured. Hundreds of people are still trapped under the rubbles," Esmail Najjar, governor of Iran's Kerman province, the centre of the quake, told the semi-official Mehr news agency.

At least three villages were destroyed, leaving hundreds of people trapped under rubble, according to Mehr, a semi-official news agency.

Iran Lets Gas Prices Soar, but Drivers Seem Unfazed

New York Times | Dec 20

Government subsidies, which had kept the basic price of gas at about 38 cents a gallon, were drastically cut, quadrupling the rationed fuel price overnight and pushing the "free" price, at which motorists can purchase an unlimited amount, to $2.55 a gallon -- a staggering price for Iranians, who on average make little more than one-fifth of what Americans earn.

To help soften the blow, the government is offering a one-time cash payment of around $77 per person.

"They give you rials and they expect you to pay for gasoline in dollars," said an older man, one of thousands of unlicensed taxi drivers here who pick up four passengers at a time, providing a makeshift transit system in a city with limited subway service and buses that arrive infrequently and invariably packed.

Before the price rise, he said, he spent about $1.50 a day for fuel and made about $28 for an eight-hour day. That was enough for a $4 or $5 kebab and rice, he said. But with fuel costing around $10, "I guess I'll have to give that up and eat yogurt and cucumber."

Zhila Shakiba, 55, a housewife and mother of four children, two of whom still live at home, called the $77 payment woefully inadequate. "Whatever the president says about there being no poor people in this country, that kind of money is no money at all," she said. "When you go out to buy just a few essential things, the prices blow your mind."

Iran Gasoline Use Drops 16.6 Pct after Price Hike

Reuters | Dec 20

Iranian gasoline useage fell by a sixth on the first day after the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad implemented a deeply unpopular four-fold price rise, the oil ministry website said on Monday.

Consumption on Sunday was down 16.6 percent, according to the ministry website.

"On Saturday, 63.9 million litres of gasoline was consumed in the country but it dropped by 10.6 million litres on Sunday to 53.3 million litres simultaneous with the enforcement of the targeted-subsidy law," it quoted the state National Iranian Refining and Distribution Co. as saying.

The website said consumption of premium gasoline dropped by 800,000 litres to 2.4 million litres on Sunday, a fall of 25 percent.

'Iran MPs Join Gaza Aid Convoy in Syria'

Press TV | Dec 21

A delegation of Iranian lawmakers has arrived in the Syrian capital, Damascus, to accompany the first Asian aid convoy for the Gaza Strip.

The seven Iranian lawmakers will travel with the Asian People's Solidarity with Palestine convoy to the coastal sliver via the Rafah crossing in Egypt.

The move is aimed at displaying solidarity with the Palestinian people in their resistance against Israel.

Fifteen countries are participating in the convoy which started from India, making its way through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Syria. They plan to enter the enclave on December 28 after traveling through Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

WikiLeaks: 'Syria Would Drop Iran for Peace with Israel'

Jersulaem Post | Dec 21

Syria would end its alliance with Iran in exchange for peace with Israel and greater US involvement in the process, Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz, head of Military Intelligence's Research Directorate, told a top American official last year, according to a US diplomatic cable published on Monday by WikiLeaks.

The cable documented a meeting between Baidatz and other top Israeli officials with US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Ambassador Alexander Vershbow in November 2009.

During the meeting, Baidatz said that according to Israeli intelligence assessments, if Syria were able to achieve peace with "security" and obtain greater US involvement, it would be willing to pull away from Iran's orbit.

According to the US cable, Baidatz said that if Syrian President Bashar Assad were forced to choose between peace with Israel [on the one hand,] and Iran and his "negative assets" -- Hamas and Hizbullah -- [on the other,] he would choose peace.

In the cable from 2009, Baidatz briefed Vershbow on Iran's nuclear program and said the Islamic Republic was one year away from obtaining a nuclear weapon and two-and-a-half years away from assembling a nuclear arsenal of three weapons. By 2012, Iran would be able to build one weapon within weeks and an arsenal within six months.

The cable, which was approved by Vershbow, included a comment next to Baidatz's remarks: "It is unclear if the Israelis firmly believe this or are using worst-case estimates to raise greater urgency from the United States."

Ebadi: "Javad Larijani Does Not Understand Human Rights And Cannot Fill This Position"

ICHRI | Dec 20

Shirin Ebadi and six other women's rights activists will hold a sit-in in front of the United Nations in Geneva to protest the dangerous situation of Nasrin Sotoudeh, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the Iranian Judiciary has lost its independence and has become a tool in the hands of security forces.

Shirin Ebadi also reacted to recent statements made by Mohammad Javad Larijani, Head of Iran's Human Rights Council. "Mr. Larijani, who heads the Human Rights Council of the Iranian Judiciary, stated in one of the last interviews he had outside Iran that he had been willing to 'compromise' in the area of human rights, but as the US and the west are referring to the human rights issue too much, they, too, will enter 'the human rights war.' Those who use vocabulary such as 'confront,' 'contention,' and 'war' about human rights, who that they have fundamentally missed the meaning of human rights. This individual cannot fill such a position within the Judiciary, unless this position has been given to him as gift because of his family relation to the Head of the Judiciary," she said.

"So far as human rights is concerned, we can only have a dialogue about it, and review issues through dialogue. Those responsible for human rights cannot say 'henceforth we will enter a human rights war,' or 'now we will enter human rights contention.' Mr. Larijani said that Ms. Sotoudeh was not arrested because of her profession as a lawyer, but that her actions were against national security. He stated that lawyers must only walk up and down the court corridors. I agree with the last part of Mr. Larijani's statement, as the Judiciary has lost its independence and the judges have no accountability; therefore lawyers wander the corridors of the courts. It is true, a judge who has no authority cannot provide suitable answers to the lawyers, and this is why the lawyers are going up and down the hallways aimlessly," she added.

"Regarding his statement about Ms. Sotoudeh's charges not being related to her profession as a lawyer, before her arrest, intelligence agents called her husband, Reza Khandan, and told him that Sotoudeh must stop representing me or else she will regret it. Sotoudeh responded to them by saying her actions are within the legal framework and that she is only doing her job as a lawyer representing me under the law and she will not stop her representation," Shirin Ebadi told the Campaign.

Sotoudeh's Deteriorating Health Ends Hunger Strike; Interrogators Tell Lawyer They Control Her Trial Outcome

ICHRI | Dec 20

Lawyer and human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, told her husband about her deteriorating health in prison which has caused her to break her hunger strike. She has also told her husband that her interrogators have advised her that they have determined her sentence in prison, before the judge has issued a ruling.

"Ms. Sotoudeh told me the last time that her prison interrogators have told her 'we won't let the judge give you less than ten years in prison.' During her call today, she also said that her interrogators have said she will be sentenced to serving her prison term in exile in Karaj's Rajaee Shahr Prison. This means that the interrogators have already determined her prison term and the location of her detention without a court ruling, and maybe even the judge presiding over Nasrin's case is not aware of this. I don't know what kind of organization the [Iranian] Judiciary is, where even the location and term of a prison sentence are determined by officers inside the prison," Khandan told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Reza Khandan also addressed Mohammad Javad Larijani's recent accusations against Nasrin Sotoudeh. "The first chance I get to visit with her, I will bring this issue up to Ms. Sotoudeh, because she has no idea about this and she is the one who will have to file suit. But I believe that as soon as she hears this news she will file a lawsuit against Mr. Larijani, because the accusations he has waged against her are extremely heavy, undue, and completely unfounded. These accusations were not even waged during Ms. Sotoudeh's trial [as a part of the indictment against her]. Mr. Larijani has made accusations such as saying that during the years, Ms. Sotoudeh has gone from one capital to another, talking against Islam. During her 47-year life, she has only traveled abroad three times. Her first trip abroad was at a time when she had not yet passed the bar and was not working as a lawyer, so during her professional life, she has only traveled abroad twice and I don't believe she has given any interviews during those trips. 'Contact with terrorist groups' is a very heavy accusation and the whole world knows her positions, so this accusation will not stick to her at all. I am sure that the first thing she will do as soon as she is released is to file suit against Mr. Larijani."

Ahmad Ghabel's Wife: "He Is Not Guilty, He Will Criticize the Regime again if Necessary"

ICHRI | Dec 19

Marzieh Pasdar, wife of the religious thinker Ahmed Ghabel, talked to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran about the sentence issued for him last week. "In our opinion, Mr. Ghabel is not guilty and the amount of time he has already spent in prison has been against the law and Sharia. We have higher expectations from the Islamic Republic, a more reasonable and more humane behavior," she said. Ahmad Ghabel's trial court convened while the defendant was in his cell. Several times, Ahmad Ghabbel had protested the "inappropriate" behavior of the [prison] officers during body searches while being transferred to court, and had asked not to be brought to the court anymore because of it.

Ahmed Ghabel is a writer and a theological researcher. His trial court was convened in his absence on Tuesday. He was charged with "propaganda against the regime" and "insulting the Supreme Leader"; and was sentenced to twenty months' imprisonment, three years' ban from leaving his town of residence in exile, and three years' ban from conducting interviews and speeches. He was further fined for possession of a satellite receiver, and his personal computer was confiscated as punishment.

Marzieh Pasdar talked to the Campaign about her husband's reactions to his sentence. "He usually does not show any reactions. He was prepared for any ruling. When I read him his sentence over the phone, I did not comprehend the ruling that much myself. After the telephone conversation, I went to his lawyer and became more aware of the sentence. By then I was no longer in communication [with my husband], and our visitation days are on Saturdays."

Marzieh Pasdar said that her husband does not accept the verdict. "He does not accept his sentence, nor does he accept it for others like himself. He believes that this verdict is against the law and Sharia. Mr. Ghabel believes it is his legal and Sharia-based right to have recommendations for the regime wherever he sees fit. If he sees a mistake somewhere, he talks about it, and criticizes the system, and so Mr. Ghabel would do it again. Because he cares and points out the errors of the regime, he deserves to be praised, not to be punished," she told the Campaign.

New Sanctions Can Make Next Talks Ineffective: Sources

Tehran Times | Dec 21

Diplomatic sources in Tehran have responded to the news that the United States and its allies are planning to impose more sanctions on Iran ahead of next round of talks between Iran and the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany in Istanbul, saying this would make negotiations ineffective.

According to an article published in the Wall Street Journal on December 18, the U.S. and representatives of the European Union have agreed to impose joint sanctions against Iran in January. It is unclear what shape the new sanctions will take, but it has been agreed that the U.S. and EU should act together with a uniform set of sanctions, rather than seeking further United Nations sanctions.

The report said the U.S. and its allies plan to finalize details of the plan by the end of the year, then deliver the proposal to the EU sanctions committee to get the new measures in place before talks are resumed in Istanbul.

The Iranian diplomats say further sanctions on Tehran means that the U.S. and its allies have decided to ignore what was agreed for the talks in Istanbul which was to focus on "common ground", the Tehran Times has learnt.

An Iranian diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, has told the website irannuc.ir, "There is a concern that the agreement made at the Geneva talks fall a victim to the internal disagreements within the 5+1 group."

He also said, "It is clear that the imposition of any new sanction will put the fate of talks in Istanbul in doubt, because Iran has made further talks contingent on the end of pressures."

OPINION & ANALYSIS

Economists Say Iran Subsidy Plan a Weapon of Political Control

Robert Tait (RFE/RFL) | Dec 20

A long-awaited radical overhaul of Iran's economy that has seen the scrapping of state subsidies is being used to punish and intimidate opponents of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, analysts say.

Individuals and families deemed politically suspect or disloyal to Ahmadinejad's government are reportedly being denied cash handouts brought in to replace the extensive subsidy regime.

Mehrdad Emadi, an Iranian economist based in London, says the compensation payments are being closely screened by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and volunteer Basij militia.

"You can see a political screening of people and categorizing them into groups -- who are with us and groups who have not made the right level of effort to be with us," Emadi says.

Between 4 million and 5 million people who should qualify on financial grounds have yet to receive their first handout, according to a study, including many suspected of having participated in opposition Green Movement protests against Ahmadinejad's disputed reelection in 2009.

DOCUMENTS & DECLARATIONS

A Letter by Habibollah Golparipour to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Letter by Habibollah Golparipour (HRANA via Persian2English) | Dec 20

Habibollah Golparipour, who is sentenced to death, has described his psychological and physical torture during his imprisonment to the Supreme Leader of Iran.

To the Leader of the Islamic Republic,

My name is Haibollah Golparipour and I have been sentenced to death on charges of acting against national security. During my arrest and interrogations my rights have been trampled on and no government agency has paid attention to my case and my protests.

I have been forced to write this letter to you because you are the commander of the Iranian armed forces. My rights have been ignored and I have been charged by the Revolutionary Guards of Mahabad, the Sanandaj Ministry of Intelligence.

First, as the Supreme Leader you need to know about what has taken place in organizations under your authority so that you can prevent injustices.

Secondly, as the moral leader of the country you have legal and moral obligations to make sure justice is carried out with regards to Iranian citizens.

Third, since you are the commander in chief you are responsible for organizations under your control including the Revolutionary Guards, the Ministry of Intelligence, and the Judiciary. You need to ask them for explanations, and if there are violations, you need to punish them in order to reform those organizations.

You are the only person who can order and monitor the Western Azerbaijan Revolutionary Guards and Ministry of Intelligence, who have gone beyond their authority. You are the only person who can reduce injustices in government organizations.

Now that I have explained why I have written this letter to you, I am going to explain why, according to the Islamic Republic constitution and judicial code, I have been wronged.

First, I will explain how I was arrested and interrogated during the first five months of my imprisonment by the Revolutionary Guards and the Ministry of Intelligence:

My name is Habibollah Golparipour. I was born in the Mahabad province and I was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards of Mahabad on charges of acting against national security. I was under arrest by the IRGC and the Sanandaj Ministry of Intelligence for five months.

During these five months I endured physical and psychological torture:

- My right hand was broken by the Mahabad Revolutionary Guards interrogators.

- My right leg was broken by the Mahabad Revolutionary Guards interrogators

- I endured beatings for several hours each day by the Mahabad Revolutionary Guards interrogators.

- I was hung from my hands and feet for several hours and once for two days by the Mahabad Revolutionary Guards interrogators.

- I was given electrical shock on my body parts, even on my private parts by the Mahabad Revolutionary Guards interrogators.

- The skin on my hands and feet cracked due to flogging and the administration of electric shock by the Mahabad Revolutionary Guards interrogators.

- I was beaten with an iron rod for a week by the Sanandaj Ministry of Intelligence for the duration of one week.

- I was exposed to the torture of other prisoners in order to weaken my spirits and to exert psychological pressure by the Sanandaj Ministry of Intelligence forces.

- I endured the arrest of my family members and threats against us in order to confess to the lies of the Sanandaj Ministry of Intelligence interrogators.

- I was threatened with death many times by the Sanandaj Ministry of Intelligence interrogators.

- I endured the broadcast of loud noises through prison loudspeakers and exertion of psychological pressures by the Sanandaj Ministry of Intelligence interrogators.

- I endured the use of foul language by prison guards of the Sanandaj Ministry of Intelligence.

- While being transferred from Orumiyeh to the Sanandaj Ministry of Intelligence, I was beaten by the Mahabad Revolutionary Guards on the way to prison.

- In a five minute session at the Mahabad Revolutionary Court, Mr. Sheikloo only asked my first and last name and then took my finger prints and that ended the session.

During court proceedings at branch 1 of the Revolutionary Courts, before judge Khodadadi asked for my name he immediately asked me why I have not cooperated with the agents. He said, "If there was a bigger punishment than execution, I would sentence you to that. I will surely put the noose around your neck." And then he terminated the court session.

In my only court session, the judge read my lawyer's defense and terminated the court proceedings. This was a show trial and it only lasted a few minutes. The following week I was taken to the Mahabad Revolutionary Court and an unknown person read something to me and told me that was my verdict. I still do not know the legal position of that person.

The content of the text was as follows: "You have been sentenced to death for acting against national security".

My lawyer protested the verdict, but after three months the verdict was reconfirmed by a branch of the Supreme Court.

Surprisingly, while I was spending time in the Sanandaj Ministry of Intelligence, I was accused of the same crime, but I was released on a $10 thousand USD bail.

I think Iran is the only place in the world where a defendant gets interrogated for the same crime in two different cities, but is released on bail in one city (Sanandaj) and receives the death sentence in another (Mahabad). This should be considered the eighth wonder of the world! Or perhaps we should commend the Ministry of Intelligence and the Judiciary for their hard work.

I will now explain why this verdict is against the constitution and judicial codes of the country:

"No one can be arrested except as determined by laws. If someone is arrested the accused must immediately be informed of the charges in a written form and the case must be sent to judicial authorities within 24 hours. If this is violated, the violators must be prosecuted". This is article 32 of the Islamic Republic constitution.

"Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. By law nobody can be convicted unless the crime is proven in court". This is article 38 of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Interestingly, in the last paragraph it states that guilt must be proven in a just court.

I am not sure whether I should say fortunately or unfortunately, but neither my guilt was proven in court nor was it proved that I took up arms against the regime.

Why was I convicted to death and labeled as an 'enemy of God'? [Mohareb]

Since the first day when I was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards of Mahabad and while being transferred to Al-Mehdi detention center, the Orumiyeh Revolutionary Guards, the Sanandaj Ministry of Intelligence and the Oroumiyeh Ministry of Intelligence tortured me both physically and emotionally, which contradicts article 38 of the constitution.

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2 Comments


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For those who like to know how impoverished earthquake stricken area in Kerman looks like:

http://peykeiran.com/Content.aspx?ID=26013

Agnostic / December 21, 2010 12:24 PM

The final desperate actions of a state in total decay. Why doesn't the intelligence and judiciary focus on: the murders of the protestors, the bombers of mosques, the assassins of scientists? These guys make movies, not bombs. Horrifying.

B / December 22, 2010 6:34 AM