Rights activists Omid Alishenas, Atena Daemi, Ali Nouri and Aso Rostami have been summoned to appear together at an Appeals Court in Tehran on July 5, 2016 to appeal the prison sentences they received from a preliminary court.
Alishenas’s mother, Simin Eyvazzadeh, who told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran about the summons, said she hoped her son would be acquitted.
“We expect him to be freed because the charges against him are unrelated to his activities,” she said. “It’s enough that he’s been in prison for the past 17 months. His life is up in the air. We hope he will be acquitted and released.”
The Campaign could not independently verify why the activists are being summoned to the Appeals Court at the same time.
Alishenas, 33, a civil engineer who is a children’s rights and civil activist, was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Organization on September 4, 2014 and held at Evin Prison in Tehran. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “assembly and collusion against national security” and “insulting the supreme leader” by Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court on January 24, 2015. He was released on 7 billion rials ($230,000 USD) bail on January 18, 2016 while he awaits the result of his appeal.
Atena Daemi, 28, a children’s rights activist and death penalty opponent, has been on medical furlough since February 15, 2016 on 5 billion rials ($166,000 USD) bail. Her father, Mohammad Hossein Daemi, has also been summoned to appear at the Appeals Court hearing with the four defendants.
“The day the agents came to arrest Atena at her parents’ house, they took the family’s TV satellite receiver with them and built a case against her father,” an informed source told the Campaign.
“Mr. Daemi was fined 3 million rials (nearly $100 USD) by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court and now he has to appear at the Appeals Court,” added the source.
Satellite receivers are illegal in Iran, but it is estimated that nearly three quarters of Iranians have access to them. Police forces routinely enter residential complexes to confiscate and remove satellite dishes and other equipment, and the owners are then prosecuted and fined.
Agents of the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Organization arrested Atena Daemi on October 21, 2014. She was convicted of “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the supreme leader,” and “concealing evidence,” and was sentenced to 14 years in prison by Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court on March 5, 2015.
“We are hoping for a fair judgment and her freedom,” added the source. “Atena really hasn’t done anything to deserve 14 years in prison.”
The Campaign has been unable to obtain information about Aso Rostami and Ali Nouri.