Human Rights Activist, Kaveh Kermanshahi, Sentenced to Five Years
Iranian journalist and human rights activist Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi was sentenced by Branch One of Kermanshah Revolutionary Courts, with Judge Moradi presiding, to five years in prison at Kermanshah’s Dizelabad Prison, according to a report by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
During the previous two court sessions, Kermanshahi was tried on charges of “actions against national security through membership in the Kurdistan Human Rights Defense Organization,” and “propagating against the regime through publication of news and reports, and interviews with the media,” as well as “contacting families of political prisoners and those executed.”
Kermanshahi’s lawyer, Mostafa Ahmadian, was only verbally (in person) informed of the charges on Sunday, 30 January 2011, in lieu of being served with a written copy of the sentence. The Kurdish human rights activist received the maximum punishment for the charges, based on Articles 488 and 500 of the Islamic Penal Code. In an unprecedented action, in addition to confiscating Kermanshahi’s passport, several documents, and personal papers, his sentence includes confiscation of all personal effects seized during his arrest, including his laptop computer, his computer hard disk, cell phone, camera, printer, and other items as “crime implements” by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Kaveh Ghasemi’s lawyer, Mostafa Ahmadian, confirmed that his client was sentenced to five years in prison. “This ruling was very unexpected for me; it is a very heavy sentence for my client. Every suspect should be protected by the principle of innocence, and so long as his charges have not been proven in methods expressed by the law and in a trial by a qualified court, his actions should be respected and protected. None of the actions taken by my client, who has had good intentions and has acted on humanitarian goals, were manifestations of actions against national security and propagation against the regime. What has been mentioned in his indictment as “legal evidence,” has been at a level that would discredit the innocence principle in his case,” he said.
Mostafa Ahmadian emphasized that he would appeal this ruling within the legal framework. Ahmadian, a member of the Kermanshah Bar Association, asked the province judicial authorities to make up for the injustices his client has suffered in the lower court, and to seriously review and reconsider this ruling fairly and independently.
Kaveh Kermanshahi was arrested in Kermanshah on 3 February 2010. After spending about four months in temporary detention inside the Kermanshah Intelligence Office’s Detention Center, he was released on 23 May 2010 on bail of $100,000. During his detention, Kermanshahi was under pressure to confess to espionage and to participate in a televised interview. He spent the first 80 days of his detention in a solitary cell. He was on a hunger strike during the last week of his imprisonment.