Kurdish Lawyer Charged with Support of Kurdish Parties and Contacting UN
After 37 days of lawyer Massoud Shamsinejad’s detention, Branch 5 of Orumiyeh Special Crimes Courts informed him of political charges against him, a local source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Shamsinejad, an Orumiyeh lawyer who has represented many Kurdish political prisoners, has been charged with “supporting Kurdish parties,” “contacting foreign media,” “organizing anti-execution protest gatherings in Orumiyeh in 2010,” and “contacting the offices of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights.” Massoud Shamsinejad was then released on bail of about US$330,000.
According to the human rights source, lawyer and university professor Massoud Shamsinejad was arrested and transferred to Orumiyeh Central Prison on May 9 on orders from the Branch 5 Investigative Judge of Orumiyeh Special Crimes Court. The case against Shamsinejad dated back to the parliamentary elections of 2012, in which Shamsinejad had registered to run. According to the source, a case was leveled against him on charges of supporting Kurdish political parties in order to disqualify him from participating in the elections. In May of this year, he again registered to run for Orumiyeh City Council elections, and he was again detained and informed of political charges against him.
“After he was transferred to Orumiyeh Central Prison with temporary detention orders, the prison security officials transferred the lawyer to the prison’s admission ward and for two days, they curtailed all telephone calls from the facility and disallowed other prisoners from talking to him. He was then transferred to the Orumiyeh Information Office’s detention center, where he was interrogated about the reasons he accepted and defended the cases of political prisoners. His interrogators accused him of passing information about conditions at Orumiyeh Prison to the office of UN Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed, but did not present him with any evidence of this. On the second day of his detention at the Orumiyeh security detention center, the Investigative Judge from Branch 5 of Orumiyeh Special Crimes Courts appeared at the facility and informed Shamsinejad of his charges,” the human rights source told the Campaign.
The human rights source told the Campaign that Shamsinejad represented several political prisoners on death row, including Habibollah Golparipour and Ali and Razgar Afshari, among a large group of Kurdish political prisoners, and this is the reason the Intelligence Ministry has accused him of supporting Kurdish political parties. Massoud Shamsinejad was transferred from the Intelligence Office detention center to Orumiyeh Prison on June 12. During his detention, he was not allowed to contact or visit with his family.