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Torture of Political Prisoners for Forced Television Confessions

Iran: Mullahs' judiciary admits arrest of Amir Hossein Moradi and Ali Younesi, Sharif University of Technology elite students
Al Younesi-Amirhossein Moradi

UN urged to visit prisons and meet with Moradi, Younesi, and Afkari brothers,
Urgent action needed for the release of political prisoners, detained protesters

In a tweet on September 5, 2020, the sister of political prisoner Ali Younesi, an award-winning student at the Sharif University of Technology who has been in prison for the past five months, wrote, “On Wednesday (September 2), my brother Ali Younesi was told to accept the charges against him in a televised confession, and in which case he will receive a life sentence instead of the death penalty. After five months of detention, solitary confinement, and public interrogation, they have been insisting for a TV interview, by threatening and pressuring (him) for the past three weeks.”

The use of torture, harassment, and psychological warfare against political prisoners to extract forced confessions on television are well-known tactics used in the regime’s prisons in the past four decades. Amnesty International’s September 2, 2020, shocking report entitled “Trampling humanity: Mass arrests, disappearances, and torture since Iran’s 2019 November protests,” reveals dozens of examples of this brutality against protesters.

Amir Hossein Moradi and Ali Younesi, two elite students at the Sharif University of Technology, went missing on April 10, 2020. The mullahs’ Judiciary reluctantly acknowledged their arrest on May 5, 2020. Following a two-month international campaign for the release of the two students. On July 16, the IRGC affiliated Fars news agency published a report on a public interrogation of the two university students by the interrogators and the Islamic Associations, aimed at pressuring them to submit to a forced confession and to break their resistance.

Ali won the gold medal of the 12th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics held in China in 2018. Earlier, he had won the silver and gold medals of the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2016 and 2017. Amir Hossein also won the Olympiad silver medal in 2017.

Considering that systematic torture is a clear example of a crime against humanity, the Iranian Resistance urges the United Nations Security Council and its member states, the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Human Rights Council, as well as the European Union, to condemn the continuing torture and crimes against humanity in Iran. It also called on them to take urgent action to secure the release of detained protesters and political prisoners, and underscored the need for an international commission of inquiry to visit the regime’s prisons and to meet with Amir Hossein Moradi, Ali Younesi, and the Afkari brothers.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
September 7, 2020