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Friday, 27 November, 2020

Masoud Mosaheb and Shahram Shirkhani sentenced to 20 years in prison

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Human Rights in Iran – Tuesday, August 11, 2020 / Masoud Mosaheb, a dual Iranian-Austrian citizen was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of acting against national security through espionage. Shahram Shirkhani, another dual Iranian-British citizen was also sentenced to 10 years in prison on the same charges.

According to the report of Human Rights in Iran quoting Mizan Online News Agency, today, Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Gholam Hossein Esmaili, the spokesperson of the Judiciary, announced the confirmation of the prison terms against Masoud Mosaheb, an Iranian-Austrian citizen, and Shahram Shirkhani, an Iranian-British citizen. He further confirmed the final sentence of each of these people to serve 10 years in prison.

In a weekly meeting with local media, the spokesman of the Judiciary, described Masoud Mosaheb’s sentence: “Masoud Mosaheb, son of Mahmoud, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of spying for Israel and Germany.”

“After arrest and trial, Shahram Shirkhani was also sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of espionage for Britain, and his final sentence is carried out”, in another part of his speech Esmaili added.

Gholam Hossein Esmaili continued the press conference by announcing the arrest of at least five other people on charges of espionage, claiming: “Recently, we had four or five arrests, which made at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in some micro industries, other companies, component suppliers and energy support suppliers, the Ministry of Defense and Nuclear Energy, where the detainees were identified and arrested in August this year.”

It should be noted that the case of Masoud Mosaheb and Shahram Shirkhani was initially investigated by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on charges of espionage and each was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Masoud Mosaheb, an Iranian-Austrian dual citizen and secretary general of the Austrian-Iranian Association, was arrested in late January 2019, following a trip to Iran with a delegation from Mode Austron (Persian: مد آسترون) in Tehran and has been in Evin Prison since late January 2019.

The crime of espionage is one of the accusations that is completely rejected from the perspective of human rights, but in Iran in recent years, Iranian security officials, especially the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) have detained many citizens on unrealistic charges, and subsequently, the detainees have faced long prison terms or execution on charges of “espionage and collaborating with hostile governments” or under the title of “infiltration project”.

Also, in recent years, the government of the Islamic Republic has used the detention and pressure on citizens and their activities as leverage for transactions and hostage-taking in order to solve economic problems.

The repression of dual nationals and the imposition of security charges against them in Iran are among the violations of human rights and is in the line with the suppression of freedom of expression and opinion, which has been underlined in international instruments of human rights, including Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted on December 16th 1966.

The issue of arbitrary detainment of individuals without justifying their charges, and the defendants’ inaccessibility to a lawyer is a case of violations of principles noted in international instruments of human rights, Article 9 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as Article 9 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted on December 16th 1966.

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