Appeal Court: Conviction of Saha Mortezaei, Student activists to prison
Human Rights in Iran – On Thursday, April 30th 2020, the Enforcement Unit of Tehran Security Prosecutor’s Office issued an announcement summoning Saha Mortezaei, a student activist and barred from education, to serve a 1-year prison sentence. At the initial stage, Saha Mortezaei was sentenced by branch 26 of the Tehran Revolution Court to 6 years in prison, which was commuted to 1 year by Court of Appeals in Tehran. The sentence is related to the arrest of Saha Mortezaei during the protests in January 2018.
According to Human Rights in Iran, on Thursday, April 30th (2020), following a lawsuit suit branch 36 of Tehran’s Court of Appeals, presided over Ahmad Zargar, Saha Mortezaei was sentenced to 1 year in prison and 2 years deprivation of activities in politcal, trade union and media groups. This student activist was initially sentenced by branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by the time judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh to 6 years in prison on the charges of assembly and collision. Regarding the written announcement by the Judgement Enforcement Unit of Tehran Security Prosecutor’s Office, she has been summoned to serve her 1-year prison sentence.
In early September of 2017, Saha Mortezaei was sentenced by branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, presided over Mashallah Ahmadzadeh, to 6 years in prison and 2 years deprivation of membership in Parties and political groups.
This student activist, along with 43 other student union activists was arrested during the protests on January 6th 2018 and then was transferred to Security Ward 209 of notorious Evin Prison. Simultaenously with the arrest of these students, 27 trade union organizations from different universities in Iran, in response to their widespread detentions wrote a letter to the Ministry of Science on January 3rd 2018, urging their unconditional release. Shortly after the interrogation process and being charged, Saha Mortezaei was released temporarily on bail.
After her release, Saha Mortezaei was banned from continuing her studies at the university, and after being informed of deprivation her studies, despite ranking 10th on the national entrance examination for doctoral studies in Politics Science and International Relations, she held a sit-in protest for 19 days at the campus of Tehran University with the aim of returning to university for continuing her classes.
On November 17th 2020, Saha Mortezaei was arrested by security forces on the 19th day of her sit-in protest in the students’ dormitory of Tehran University and was transferred to Security Ward 209 of Ministry of Intelligence. This student barred from education was arrested conciding with the protest rallies in mid-November 2019, staged by the citizens and students over different cities.
Human Rights in a Iran had released a report on December 5th 2019, informing the summon of Saha Mortezaei’s family to Ministry of Intelligence and their being threateningly interrogated. While Saha was on her sit-in protest, her mother was summoned to Disciplinary Committee of Tehran University and was requested to sign a paper that certified Saha Mortezaei’s suffering from psychosis, however her mother had strongly opposed to sign the paper.
During that meeting, in addition to Saha’s mother and the head of the Security of Tehran University, another person as psychologist was there. Saha’s mother was threatened in the case that her daughter did not end her own sit-in protest, not only she would serve her previous 6 years in prison, but she would have to serve a further 2 and half years prison sentence. The head of the Security of Tehran University had told the mother if she signed the paper, Saha would be transferred to a mental institute to receive electric shock therapy.
On December 31st 2019, while Saha Mortezaei was on her 10th day of hunger strike in women’s ward of notorious Evin Prison, on the pretext of being released from detention, she was transferred with blindfold and handcuffs, after the order of the Interrogator in branch 1 of Tehran’s Security Prosecutor’s Office, to the women’s ward of Qarchak Prison in Varamin.
This student activist, after a long term interrogation and uncertainty, was released temporarily on January 22nd 2020 on a bail of 500 million Tomans.
The suppression of student activists and the imposition of security charges against this group of citizens are among the cases violating Human Rights, and is in the line of the repression of Freedom of Speech in Iran, which there is an emphasis on it in International Instrument of Human Rights, in Article 19 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as Article 19 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted on 16 December 1966.
Also the individuals’ right to a fair trial is one of the inalienable rights accentuated in Article 10 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The individuals’ right to education and the right to continue their education up to any level are among the items emphsized in Article 26 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Holding protest rallies without carrying weapons is one of the rights accentuated in Article 27 of Iran’s Constitution, which the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran claims enforcing it, however the security organizations offer different interpretations on their own behalf in the line of restriction and suppression the citizens in Iran.