Iran Human RightsIran Judge Threatens Political Prisoner With Death

Iran Judge Threatens Political Prisoner With Death

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An Iranian judge has threatened a 29-year-old political prisoner with being sentenced to death.

Majid Khademi was arrested in Behbahan, Khuzestan province, just over a year ago on January 18, 2020 after taking part in the nationwide November 2019 protests over the tripling of fuel prices.

He was charged with:

  • “acting against national security”
  • “complicity in destruction and setting fire to public property”
  • “destroying banks and setting fire to public and government places”
  • “participation in disturbing public order”
  • “participation in making civilian incendiary material”
  • “membership in an opposition group (The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK))”
  • “corruption on Earth”
  • “insulting Khamenei
  • “communicating with the PMOI and dissident groups”

For two months, he was subjected to physical and psychological torture, as well as interrogation, by intelligence agents and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). He was denied access to a lawyer and even now his lawyer cannot access his case, instead having to rely on the sections authorised by the Intelligence Ministry.

He is still held in unknown conditions in Behbahan Prison, prevented from contacting his family and banned from being released on bail, which was set in December at 3.5 billion Tomans.

In addition, his family have been pressured by the IRGC and the Behbahan Intelligence Service into not speaking to the media.

Khademi was arrested alongside Mehran Qarebaqi, who is also 29 and from the same village as Khademi -Tilekoohi village near Behbahan. They are held on the same charges and their treatment in prison has been nearly identical.

Qarebaqi was already tried at the Revolutionary Court for “insulting the supreme leader” and “propaganda against the state”. He was sentenced to three years in jail for this.

The PMOI reported in May 20202 that the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the IRGC Intelligence Organization  has been arresting and/or summoning massive numbers of young activists. Those arrested were interrogated under torture.

This is an indication of just how much of a threat the PMOI and young activists pose to the Iranian government  that, in the middle of a pandemic, the authorities preferred to round up and arrest more political prisoners, rather than release them on humanitarian grounds.

Iran Human Rights Monitor urged the United Nations Secretary-General, High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, and other human rights groups to put pressure on Tehran to permit an international delegation to visit Iranian prisons and meet political prisoners.

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