Appeals Court to Issue Sentence without Consideration of Behavar’s Defense
Mother of Emad Behavar, the imprisoned head of the Youth Branch of Freedom Movement of Iran, sentenced to ten years in prison in a lower court, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that while the political prisoner’s defense bill has not yet reached the judge, the appeals court will be issuing its ruling over the coming days. Behavar’s charges are “membership in the Freedom Movement Party,” and “collusion for assembly against national security,” “propagating against the regime,” and “insulting the Supreme Leader.”
“Unfortunately, Emad’s lawyer was not allowed to visit him, and his lawyer had to compile the defense bill without being able to see him. In fact during the whole year that has passed since Emad’s arrest, his lawyer has only been able to visit with him once just before his initial court trial. For this next stage, when we went to visit with Emad in prison, we used to convey his lawyer’s words to him, and then convey Emad’s words to his lawyer. Both of them worked on the defense bill for the appeals court by themselves. But, unfortunately, Emad’s defense bill has not yet reached the judge in the case,” Tahereh Taherian, Behavar’s mother said about his case and defense to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“I went to the court and inquired, but they said that the letter has not yet arrived. I hope they won’t issue a ruling prior to reading that letter, because Emad has provided detailed explanations for every single charge made against him. I don’t know whether the verdict will now be issued without reading Emad’s defense, which he wrote with a lot of trouble, or not,” said Emad Behavar’s mother.
Emad Behavar’s mother told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that she was able to visit with her son last Monday, which is he day prisoners of Ward 350 of Evin Prison have visitors. “His physical and psychological state was good as always. But it seems that the situation inside the prison is not so good, but news of this does not get out. The biggest problem we have is that the telephone lines in Ward 350 are cut off; they have been cut off for five-six months. Thousands of things could happen during the week, but we can’t inform Emad of any of it, and we must wait for visitation days,” said Tahereh Taherian.
The political prisoner’s mother told the Campaign that she expects her son’s heavy sentence of ten years in prison to be broken. “I would like to ask the authorities to put their hatred aside. The case file I saw for my son at the court was very thick, which might lead a judge to make a decision just based on the volume of that case file. I think that only useless documents exist in the case, and that it has been padded without reason. I believe if they read the defense bill carefully, they would know that these young people in prison have committed no crime, they love their country. I expect that such a heavy sentence for Emad would be broken. This sentence is really heavy for Emad,” she said.
“My son has been sentenced to four years in prison for membership in the Freedom Movement Party, and to five years in prison for participating in the meetings of this party. This is a very strange sentence. Membership in this party has never been a crime, and if it has become a crime after a point in time, why is Emad the only one implicated in this crime? Why should Emad be the only one punished? The Freedom Movement Party has been active for a number of years. This party existed before the election, too, so why didn’t they prevent it from its activities? Why didn’t they announce that membership in this party is a crime and nobody should be active in this party? After the election, all of this turned into heavy crimes. The sentence of nine years in prison for membership in the Freedom Movement and participation in its simple meetings is very strange,” the political prisoner’s mother said.
“During the past year, I have gone to different places. Many places, such as the Prosecutor’s Office, at first admitted us, but later, unfortunately, refused to admit us. Perhaps several pages of Emad’s case file which I was able to see in court are letters I have written to different authorities. During this year, they didn’t give in-person visitation to me as his mother, and they only let his wife to have in-person visitation once or twice. According to the law, every prisoner is entitled to in-person visitation,” Tahereh Taherian said about her efforts.