19 University Students in Iran Issued Long Prison Sentences as One More is Tried in Tehran
At least 17 students from universities in Tehran and two others from Tabriz have been issued harsh prison sentences ranging from one to 12 years in preliminary rulings by the Revolutionary Court system for attending protests earlier this year.
In the latest case, University of Tehran student activist Parisa Rafiei was tried at Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh on national security charges on August 13, 2018.
“My client explained in court that she is simply a student activist working within the boundaries of the laws of the Islamic Republic,” Rafiei’s defense attorney, Saeed Khalili, said in a note published by Ensaf News on August 13.
“She has been accused of assembly and collusion against national security and propaganda against the state and yet all she did was take part in student trade union rallies inside the university to protest some administrative decisions or make certain demands, neither of which are a crime,” he added.
A photography student at the University of Tehran, Rafiei, 21, was arrested on February 25, 2018, by agents of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry for allegedly attending protests that swept through Tehran and various other Iranian cities in December 2017 and January 2018.
She was interrogated for three weeks without legal representation before being released on bail three weeks later.
“Unfortunately, the case has been built on a misunderstanding that my client was linked to Marxist and leftist factions and therefore I submitted a lengthy petition in response in which I tried to dispel any confusion,” her lawyer wrote in his note.
Rafiei’s trial is taking place after several other students have already been sentenced to long prison terms for peacefully attending protests in Iran.
Following is a list of students who have been sentenced so far:
1) Zanyar Ahmadiniaz, undergraduate student in accounting, Tehran Islamic Azad University: eight years in prison.
2) Sima Entesari, graduate student in English: five years in prison.
3) Shima Entesari, PhD student in economics, University of Tehran: five years in prison.
4) Mehdi Eskandari, law student, Payame Noor University in Tehran: six years in prison and a two-year ban on leaving the country.
5) Reza Bavi, undergraduate student in clinical psychology, Roudehen Islamic Azad University: seven years in prison.
6) Pedram Pazireh, graduate student in culture and media affairs, University of Tehran: seven years in prison and 74 lashes.
7) Leila Hosseinzadeh, undergraduate student in anthropology, University of Tehran: six years in prison and a two-year ban on traveling abroad.
8) Mohsen Haghshenas, undergraduate student in stage design, University of Tehran: two years in prison.
9) Khashayar Dehghan, PhD student in electrical engineering, University of Tehran: seven years in prison, 74 lashes and two-year exile to Borazjan in Bushehr Province.
10) Sina Darvish Omran, bachelor degree in German, University of Tehran: eight years in prison, a two-year ban on traveling abroad, and a two-year prohibition on political and social activities including social media.
11) Sina Rabiei, undergraduate student in sociology, University of Tehran: one year in prison and a two-year ban on leaving the country.
12) Roya Saghiri, Shahid Madani University in Tabriz: 23 months in prison.
13) Fereshteh Tousi, graduate student in sociology, Allameh Tabataba’i University in Tehran: one and a half years in prison and a two-year ban on political and social activities.
14) Sadegh Gheysari, journalist and student at Shahid Beheshti University: seven years in prison, 74 lashes, two-year ban on media activities and two-year prohibition on traveling abroad.
15) Ali Kamrani, undergraduate student in English language education, Shahid Madani University in Tabriz: three months in prison.
16) Rouhollah Mardani, teacher and student in Persian literature, University of Tehran: six years in prison, two-year ban on political and social activities and two-year prohibition on traveling abroad.
17) Zafarali Moghimi, PhD student in metallurgy, Amir Kabir University in Tehran: seven years in prison.
18) Ali Mozaffari, undergraduate student in anthropology, University of Tehran: eight years in prison, two-year ban on traveling abroad, and a two-year prohibition on political and social activities including social media.
19) Kasra Nouri, graduate student in human rights, University of Tehran: 12 years in prison, 74 lashes, two-year exile to Salas Babajani county in Kermanshah Province, two-year ban on traveling abroad, and a two-year prohibition on political and social activities including social media.