Imprisoned Children’s Rights Activist Denied Bail
Saeed Shirzad, a children’s rights activist sentenced to five years in prison, has been denied bail during the appeal process, a source close to his case told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
The source clarified that the request to appeal Shirzad’s sentence was handed to the Judiciary within a few days after his verdict was announced, but two months have passed and no court has yet been appointed to consider his appeal.
Shirzad was arrested on June 2, 2014, at his place of employment in the Tabriz refinery. He was first taken to Evin Prison and then transferred to Rajaee Shahr Prison. He sat behind bars for over a year under so-called “temporary detention” before he was tried.
On September 12, 2015, Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to five years in prison. Sources close to the case asserted that the prosecution of Shirzad was largely a result of his work to address the educational problems of the children of political prisoners.
Shirzad twice refused to appear in court to protest being transported in hand and foot chains. In May 2015, he appeared in court without chains but eventually left in protest against the absence of his lawyer. The denial of due process, including access to counsel, is endemic in the Iranian judicial system, especially in the case of political prisoners.