Long sentences for young protesters in Iran

Five Young Women Receive Prison Sentences for Publicly Protesting in Iran

Long sentences for young protesters in Iran

The Iranian youth participating in protests receive long sentences.

This week, the Iranian regime sentenced several protestors arrested in August protests. Iran Human Rights Monitor (HRM) reported on October 22nd reported that five young women arrested during the protests had received prison sentences of between 6 and 12 months.

Yasamin Ariani, aged 23, and 19-year-old Saba Kordafshani, will both serve one year behind bars at Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison. Azer Heydari will also serve one year in prison. The other two, Mozhdeh Rajabi and Niloufar Homafar, both received six-month sentences from the Iranian regime Judiciary.

The circumstances under which Yasamin Ariani was arrested prompted outrage from the Iranian public and drew condemnation from the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and other Iranian opposition groups.

Yasamin was arrested and taken to Quarchak Prison after helping an elderly woman who was pushed to the ground by the regime’s anti-riot police.

Harsh Sentences

The sentences appear to be part of a coordinated effort from the clerical regime to administer particularly harsh sentences on those involved in protests. Last week, the regime sentenced six supporters of MEK to between 8 and 18 years in prison. They were charged for burning the images of the regime Supreme Leader Khamenei during last year’s protests.

Iran Human Rights Monitor released a list of 18 protestors that had been arrested and sentenced for participating in the December and January protests. The protestors, all of whom are serving their prison sentences at the Great Tehran Penitentiary, were administered exceptionally harsh sentences and subject to cruel and immoral punishments.

Alireza Shir Mohammad Ali was charged with three “crimes”, “spreading propaganda against the establishment”, “insulting Ali Khamenei” and “disrupting public opinion”. He received a five-year sentence and 200 lashes.

Barzan Mohammadi, a Kurdish prisoner, is serving a six-year sentence for similar crimes. He was also lashed a total of 100 times.

The full extent of the regime’s crimes against its population becomes clear when confronted with the figures of those arrested. Agents of the clerical regime arrested more than 8,000 protestors during the December and January uprisings.

Of these 8,000, at least 14 have died in custody, likely due to extensive torture and beatings at the hands of guards. Further reports emerged this month of guards using electric cattle prods, sticks, and batons to beat inmates into submission.

Several inmates have reported fractured bones and concussion.

Condemnation from International Human Rights Organisations

Amnesty International called for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested during the protests. They also urged the international community to call for an “impartial and independent” investigation into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of 26-year-old Reza Otadi, who died during a protest in Karaj.

So far, the international community has remained silent and Amnesty International’s pleas have not been heard. These young women, as well as the thousands of more Iranians sitting behind bars, and their families in Iran need the international community to be their voice. How many more innocent people have to be flogged, beaten and imprisoned before Europe and the West say enough is enough?

Staff Writer

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