Iran’s Judiciary Refuses to Review Case of Political Prisoner Who Qualifies for Conditional Release
Judicial officials are refusing to review the case of political prisoner Mohammad Ali (Pirooz) Mansouri who is legally eligible for conditional release after spending nine years in Iran’s Rajaee Shahr and Evin Prisons.
Mansouri was arrested on September 2, 2007 for allegedly being a sympathizer of the outlawed Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), but claims only his siblings were members of the opposition group that is now based in exile and advocates the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. He was nevertheless sentenced to 15 years in prison by Judge Abolqassem Salavati based on a law that is no longer in effect that categorized any contact or support for armed groups as an “act of war against the state.”
According to Iran’s New Islamic Penal Code, however, such contact is an act of war only when the accused is found to be in possession of a weapon or found participating in an armed confrontation, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“It has been two years since the law was changed, but his case has still not been reviewed and they refuse to accept his request for furlough (temporary leave) or conditional release,” said the source, adding: “Mansouri himself was not a MEK member but some of his siblings were and that’s why he was charged according to the old law and yet even in his interrogations there was no mention of armed activities.”
According to Section B of Article 10 of Iran’s New Islamic Penal Code: “In case the punishment of an offense is reduced under a subsequent law, the enforcement judge is obliged, before, or during the execution to ask the court that has issued the final judgment to correct it according to the subsequent law. The convict, too, may apply for the commutation of the punishment from the issuing court. The issuing court, considering the subsequent law, shall reduce the previous punishment.”
Mansouri also qualifies for conditional release under Article 58 of the New Islamic Penal Code, which permits the deciding court to “issue the order of conditional release for convicts sentenced to more than 10 years imprisonment after half the sentence has been served.”
Mansouri has not been granted furlough during all the years he has spent in prison, added the source.