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Friday, 29 May, 2020

Isa Saharkhiz, a journalist was summoned in order to carry out his prison sentence

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Human Rights in Iran – Friday, May 22nd 2020/ Branch 1 of the Criminal Court in Tehran’s district 28 summoned Isa Saharkhiz, a journalist and media activist to serve his prison sentence.

According to Human Rights in Iran, On Monday, May 18th, Isa Saharkhiz, a journalist and founder of the Association for the Defense of Press Freedom, received a written statement from branch 1 of the Criminal Court in Tehran’s district 28, located in Galoobandak, summoning him to serve his prison sentence. The verdict against Isa Saharkhiz reveals his charge of insulting the former president “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad” which is sentenced to 2 years in prison.

This journalist posted a note on his personal page, announcing the verdict is related to a case of about 5 years ago and in a summons received on May 18th 2020, he has been notified that he should refer to branch 1 of the Criminal Court in Tehran’s district 28.

On January 27th 2019, an electronic notification was sent by Mehi Pour Sa’dat, the time assistant of Galoobandak Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office, asking him to introduce himself to serve his term of Imprisonment.

While in Rajaee Shahr Prison in 2016, Isa Saharkhiz was charged in a new case by Tehran Criminal Court for insulting the head of judiciary and insulting the former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

On June 28th 2017, he was sentenced to 6 months in prison on charge of Insulting the head of judiciary.

This media activist was arrested on November 2nd 2015 by IRGC Intelligence agents. At the same time with the arrest of Isa Saharkhiz several media activists and other journalists named Ehsan Mazandarani, Saman Safarzaei, Davoud Asadi and Afarin Chitsaz were arrested by IRGC Intelligence agents on charge of influence project.

After being charged with insulting the leadership and propaganda activities against the regime, Isa Saharkhiz endured solitary confinement, undergoing intensive interrogations.

During the trial procedures the case of Isa Saharkhiz was referred to the Revolution Court of Tehran and this media activist and journalist was collectively sentenced to 21 months in prison on charges of insulting the leadership and propaganda activities against the regime. The Tehran’s Revolutionary Court’s inquiry into the allegation of insulting the leadership of Isa Saharkhiz was based on his memoir “Sayed Ali Casino” which he had wrote in May 2017 while he was in Rajaei Shahr Prison.

Isa Saharkhiz was arrested after the results of the 2009 presidential election along with many other political and media activists. He was eventually released in September 2013 due to illness.

The repression of press and media activists violates the International Instrument of Human Rights, Article 19 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), as well as Article 19 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Article 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code stipulates that the accused shall be informed of the charges and provide access to a lawyer as soon as possible. Other defensive rights are mentioned in law, but extrajudicial actions taken by the security services violate the laws that they themselves drafted and claim to be enforced.

Detention of individuals without explaining their charges at the time of arrest and the defendants’ impossibility of the access to a lawyer during the interrogation and trial, are among instances of violations of International Instrument 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.

Also the individuals have the right to access a fair trial by an impartial tribunal, as enshrined in international human rights instruments, as well as article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and article 14 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR).

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