Prominent Labor Activist’s Wife Awaits Verdict for Alleged Facebook Post
Najibeh Salehzadeh was never shown the “evidence”
Najibeh Salehzadeh, who says she was falsely charged for posting “insulting” material on Facebook, is awaiting a verdict following her trial at Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in the city of Saqqez in Iran’s Kurdistan Province.
“On Monday [August 15] my son and I went to the court and the judge repeated the same charges against me, that I had written things on Facebook that were propaganda against the state and insulting to the supreme leader,” Salehzadeh, the wife of prominent Iranian-Kurdish labor activist Mahmoud Salehi, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“Again I strongly denied the charges, as I had during the interrogations, and said I have never had an account on Facebook, and if someone has done this in my name, I want the prosecutor to investigate to see who has faked this in my name,” she added. “I live in Iran and know the kinds of insults that constitute a crime. I have no desire or intention to insult anyone.”
According to the indictment, a woman named “Sanaz” had posted two items on Facebook with Salehzadeh’s mobile phone number printed on the bottom of at least one of the postings. Salehzadeh was never shown the “evidence.” The alleged postings were identified by Iran’s Cyber Crimes Police Force (FATA), which opened a case against Salehzadeh.
“I said in court that it does not make sense for me to use a false name on Facebook and then give out my real phone number to the public,” she said.
Salehzadeh told the Campaign that many people came to know her cell phone number in 2007 when her husband was first detained and she gave interviews regarding his situation.
Salehi has been arrested and imprisoned on a number of occasions for engaging in peaceful protest activities in defense of labor rights. On September 28, 2015 he was sentenced to nine years in prison for “participation in opposition assemblies and propaganda against the state.” He is currently free on bail seeking medical treatment for kidney disease.
In June 2016 he rejected the charges against his wife as an attempt to frame her.
“The honorable case judge has said that my wife and I had spread propaganda against the Islamic Republic [while we were] in France,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “For your information, the video recording of my speech to the representatives of 50 labor unions in France is available, and the honorable judge… can see clearly that the conference had nothing to do with the Islamic Republic or anyone’s sacred beliefs.”