New Charges Against Iran Political Prisoners
By Hamideh Taati
The Iranian regime brought new bogus charges against two political prisoners and human rights activists earlier this year for daring to protest the executions of three Kurdish political prisoners and refusing a physical inspection.
The trial of Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee, held on Tuesday, June 18, at the 26th branch of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, was just two hours long, which is barely enough time for the defence to present their case in any trial.
The two civil rights activists appeared before the court charged with the vague charges of insulting regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini and Supreme Leader Ai Khamenei, causing disruption the prison’s order by resisting an inspection and singing protest anthems on the day that the three Kurdish political prisoners were executed, and propaganda against the state by sending open letters out of prison.
It is not uncommon for political prisoners to be charged with vague charges like these. It’s a way for the regime to intimidate them into staying silent about the conditions they are subjected too and the injustices that they still see outside the prison walls.
Daemi and Iraee, who were accompanied at the trial by their lawyers, are expected to be sentenced within 10 days.
Daemi, who is currently serving five years for her civil activities, was arrested on October 21, 2014. She began serving her sentence in December 2016 in Evin Prison.
Iraee was released on April 8, 2019, after serving her sentence. She had been imprisoned since October 24, 2016. If found guilty, she may well be forced back to prison.
In a related development, three women’s rights activists were summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office at Evin Prison this week. Maryam Mohammadi, Esrin Derkaleh and Nargess Khorrami are all members of the Neday-e Zanan-e Iran (Voice of Iranian Women) Association.
Other members of the group - Akram Nasirian and Nahid Shaqaqi – were arrested last month. Nasirian was freed on bail after 27 days in Ward 209 (the Intelligence Ministry ward) of Evin. Shaqaqi is still incarcerated.
While labour activist Neda Naji, who was arrested during the International Labor Day protests in Tehran, was transferred from Ward 209 at Evin to the notorious Qarchak Prison in Varamin on Saturday, June 15.
At least 15 female labour activists were arrested in the protests outside the mullahs’ parliament on May 1.