900 Iranian Activists Sign Letter for Omid Montazeri’s Release
More than 900 social and political activists have signed a statement, demanding the unconditional release and fair trial of Omid Montazeri. The activists stated: “Issuing such a heavy sentence for a young man who has written about his society’s cultural and social issues within the framework of the law, abandoning the “innocent until proven guilty” principle and objectivity in treating this suspect, and denying him his legal rights during the trial process are not only against the law, but in total defiance of justice and fairness.”
Referring to Omid Montazeri’s detention two months ago and his six year prison sentence, the letter states: “Omid Montazeri was born in 1986; he lacks any criminal record, and has written for many publications in the areas of thought, literature, and poetry. He was a law student on his last term of undergraduate studies at Allameh Tabatabeee University, unable to take his final exams after his arrest. During the month he was in prison with his mother, he was only able to make a few short phone calls to other members of his family and has only been able to see his mother twice after she was released.”
On the afternoon of Ashura Day, security forces went to Omid Montazeri’s home and in his absence, they arrested his mother (Mahin Fahimi) and her guests. Plainclothes officers left a summons for Omid with his landlord. He went to the courts the next day, where he was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison. After a month in prison, in a court session without his lawyer’s presence, he was charged with “mutiny to act against national security,” and “propagation against the regime,” and on January 30, 2010, Branch 15 of Revolutionary Courts sentenced him to six years in prison.
Omid Montazeri’s trial took place while he was deprived from defense by his appointed lawyer and he had refused to be represented by a court-appointed lawyer. In direct violation of Penal Code Procedures, the presiding judge refused to accept the letter of appointment for Montazeri’s attorney signed by Omid Montazeri prior to his arrest. According to the Procedures, the judge is obligated to accept the defendant’s signed letter of appointment for his attorney.