Supreme Court Agrees to Review Political Prisoner’s 10-Year Prison Sentence
The Supreme Court of Iran has agreed to review the 10-year prison sentence of Sedigheh Moradi, who was imprisoned in 2011 for being an alleged sympathizer of the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MKO or MEK), a banned Marxist-Islamist opposition group. Her husband told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he hoped an amendment in the new Islamic Penal Code could lead to her freedom.
“My wife has served half of her prison term without any furlough (temporary leave), and her request for conditional release has been rejected,” he said in an interview. “She is now 56. When she was arrested in 2011, she was not engaged in any [political] activities. She was a housewife and only socialized with her cellmates from the 1980s and with their families.”
“Judge (Mohammad) Moghisseh said during the trial that her crime was socializing with those people (from the MKO), and accused her of ‘waging armed rebellion against the Islamic Republic by sympathizing with the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MKO).’ She was then sentenced according to Article 186 of the old Islamic Penal Code,” he added.
Moradi was arrested on May 1, 2011 at her home in Tehran and sentenced by Judge Moghisseh of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court to 10 years in prison.
According to Article 186 of the previous Islamic Penal Code: “All the members and supporters of a group or an organized association that has waged armed rebellion against the Islamic Republic, whilst the core of that organization or group exists, shall be regarded as moharebs (enemies of God).”
However, in the new Islamic Penal Code (2013) the definition of a “mohareb” was changed. Article 279 states: “Moharebeh (acting as an enemy of God) is defined as drawing a weapon on the life, property or chastity of people or to cause terror as it creates the atmosphere of insecurity. When a person draws a weapon on one or several specific persons because of personal enmities and his act is not against the public, and also a person who draws a weapon on people, but, due to inability does not cause insecurity, (he or she) shall not be considered as a mohareb.”
Khavas told the Campaign that his wife is suffering from various medical issues as a result of being tortured as a political prisoner in the 1980s, including digestion problems, arthritis and sciatica.
“Her condition in prison has become much worse and yet prison officials have unfortunately refused to grant her medical furlough,” he said.
Political prisoners in Iran are routinely subjected to discriminatory treatment, including denial of necessary medical treatment.
Moradi was initially arrested and briefly detained in 1981 as an alleged MEK sympathizer—she was in high school at the time. In 1985 she was again arrested for her alleged MEK sympathies and spent four years in prison, according to her husband.
Khavas added: “We have a daughter who was 13 when her mother was arrested. For the past five years their only contact has been weekly visits behind a glass barrier and occasional face-to-face visitations. My wife has not been allowed to use the phone [to contact us] and has been denied furlough. This is a cruel form of punishment. We hope she will be freed after her case is reviewed and all of this comes to an end.”