Imprisoned Lawyer Facing Double Jeopardy
Ghassem Sholeh Sadi, lawyer, university professor, and former member of the Iranian Parliament, who is now serving time inside Evin Prison, was again tried by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court on the charge of “insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei” and was sentenced to two years in prison.
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, his wife, Sahandej Sholeh Sadi, said: “He has been sentenced to two years in prison by Judge Moghisseh on the charge of ‘insulting the Supreme Leader,’ while Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court had previously tried this case. He objected to this decision in court, and the Investigative Judge promised that if after review they conclude the content of this file is the same as the one at Branch 15, the Judge will issue a cease order. After reviewing the case, he reached the conclusion that the charges in both cases were the same, and that a sentence was previously issued for this charge. Unfortunately, however, before he issued the order to cease proceedings, the Prosecutor sent the case out for prosecution to the Revolutionary Court, and he was sentenced to two years in prison again.”
“We are going to object to this new ruling and we are really hopeful that it would be changed,” Sahandej Sadi told the Campaign, emphasizing that her husband was charged with insulting the Supreme Leader because of interviews he had given.
Sahandej Sadi expressed concern about her husband’s physical condition and his spinal injury. “On Monday we had a booth visit; he said that he is still suffering from his spinal cord problem. Despite a letter written by the medical examiner to Tehran Prosecutor that he is not capable of tolerating his punishment, so far there has not been any action taken to remedy the situation. My attempts have all been futile. He can’t even move his left fingers anymore,” she told the Campaign.
Ghassem Sholeh Sadi was previously sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for writing a critical open letter to Ayatollah Khamenei, and was also sentenced to one year in prison and a ban on legal practice and teaching because of his media interviews and analysis. He was arrested on 3 April 2011 at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport while returning from the city of Shiraz. He has been at Evin Prison for the past six months.