Shiva Nazar Ahari’s Lawyer Concerned About Her Verdict on the Charge of Moharebeh
Shiva Nazar Ahari’s lawyer, Mohammad Sharif, has expressed concern about his client’s upcoming trial considering the heavy charge of moharebeh (enmity with God) in her case. “Shiva Nazar Ahari’s case is being reviewed in the same branch that reviewed Badrolssadat Mofidi’s case. I believe the ruling in Ms. Mofidi’s case to be illegal and therefore am seriously concerned about the court’s potential ruling, considering the fact that my client’s initial charge is moharebeh,” he told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
According to Sharif, one of his concerns is that even though the presiding judge for Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Courts is a known judge, another judge appeared at Ms. Mofidi’s trial. “My client has been informed of three charges. One of her charges is moharebeh, enmity with God, the subject of Article 186. The other charge is assembly and collusion to commit a crime, the subject of Article 610. Her final charge is propagating against the regime, based on Article 500,” said Sharif. “I have read Shiva Nazar Ahari’s case file. I have written my defense bill and have submitted it,” he added.
Nazar Ahari’s mother, Shahrzad Kariman, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that she is unaware of the charges. Regarding whether her daughter was informed of her charges, Kariman said, “Maybe they have served Dr. Sharif, but I don’t know anything about it. The moharebeh charge was conveyed in June 2009, but we didn’t think it was in this case. When Dr. Sharif read the case for the 23 May court session, we realized that when she had first been arrested in 2009, one of the four charges the judge had written in her case was moharebeh. When she was re-arrested on 20 December 2009, moharebeh was not one of her charges.”
“Shiva is in a state of limbo. Her court date was announced so late. They were going to move the date forward, but nothing has happened yet. The situation in the Women’s Ward is dire. Most days there is no water. The situation with hygiene is terrible. The situation with food is extremely bad,” said Kariman. Quoting the lawyer, she described Nazar Ahari’s imprisonment as illegal. “She has been in this limbo for nine months. According to Dr. Sharif, Shiva has been illegally detained for the past three months, because a temporary detention can only be extended up to six months. Continuing a suspect’s detention beyond six months requires a court ruling which Shiva’s case doesn’t have,” she said.
Shiva Nazar Ahari is a human rights activist and editor of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters website. She was arrested on 14 June 2009 in her office. After spending 102 days in detention, she was released on 23 September 2009 on $200,000 bail. She spent 33 days of her detention in solitary confinement. She was arrested for the second time on 20 December 2009, and has remained in prison without furlough and without any explanation from authorities about the reasons for her imprisonment. The second session of her trial is said to be scheduled for 4 September 2010.
Badrolssadat Mofidi is Secretary General of the Iranian Journalists Association who was recently sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and five years’ deprivation from press activities by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Courts.