Mother Begs Revolutionary Guards Not to Return Her Activist Son to Prison In Heart-Rending Video
A video posted on social media shows the mother of civil rights activist Omid Alishenas, who was at home with her on bail at the time, pleading with the Revolutionary Guards agents outside her door not to force him to return to Evin Prison to begin serving a seven-year prison sentence.
“I don’t expect anything from the (Revolutionary Guards’) Sarallah headquarters because they don’t go by any rules,” cries Simin Eyvazzadeh in the video clip filmed on December 10, 2016. “They have tore up the law, wiped their butts with it and flushed it down the toilet. Don’t tell me about the law… I’m saying, give him two days.”
“Let me collect his things,” she continues. “I want to buy him pants…He’s here, he hasn’t escaped…He won’t run away…You’re the ones who should run away… You’re the thieves and crooks.”
According to Iranian law, convicts sentenced to prison time must receive an official written summons before reporting to prison, which Alishenas’ mother repeatedly points out, but he was transported by the agents to prison without having received one that day.
“When my mother asked the judge why he had issued such a harsh sentence, he said ‘we are under pressure from the Revolutionary Guards,’” Alishenas told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran after the Appeals Court verdict on September 29, 2016.
“These judges all have one thing in common: hatred for good, humanitarian young people,” wrote Eyvazzadeh on her Facebook page on September 29. “If they were thieves and had stolen billions, would they have gotten the same punishment? I should have wished my son were a thief to be shown mercy. No, I would never wish such a thing. I have a lot to say when the time is right.”
Agents of the Revolutionary Guards initially arrested Alishenas at his home in Tehran on September 4, 2014. He was interrogated and held in solitary confinement for six months at Evin Prison’s Ward 2-A and then transferred to Ward 8 before being released on 700 million tomans bail (approximately $217,000 USD) on January 16, 2016.
On March 5, 2015, Alishenas and three other civil rights activists—Atena Daemi, Aso Rostami and Ali Nouri—were tried in a joint court session that lasted less than half an hour at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Mohammad Moghisseh.
For their peaceful protest activities, including engaging in campaigns against the death penalty, Alishenas was initially sentenced to 14 years in prison, Daemi to 10 years, and Rostami and Nouri to seven years each. Upon appeal Alishenas and Daemi were each given seven years in prison while Rostami and Nouri were sentenced to two years.
The four defendants were also charged in connection with defending the right of members of Iran’s persecuted Baha’i faith to attend university, condemning the mass executions of political prisoners in the 1980s, meeting the families of political prisoners, and criticizing official corruption.