Civil Rights Activist Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison at 10-Minute Mass Trial Released
Revolutionary Guards Pressured Judiciary for Harsh Sentences
Civil rights advocate Aso Rostami—whose initial mass trial with three other activists lasted “barely 10 minutes”—was released from Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj on January 15, 2017 at the end of his two-year prison sentence for engaging in peaceful activism. He was initially sentenced to seven years, but the term was reduced upon appeal.
The 16 months Rostami spent in detention prior to being sentenced was counted as time served, an informed source told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
In another example of the Judiciary’s lack of independence, the Revolutionary Guards pressured it to impose harsh sentences against Rostami and his co-defendants Atena Daemi, Omid Alishenas, and Ali Nouri during their preliminary trial on March 5, 2015.
The four were arrested in August and September 2014 by the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Organization for engaging in campaigns against the death penalty, condemning the Islamic Republic’s mass execution of political prisoners in the 1980s, meeting the families of political prisoners, and criticizing governmental corruption.
In March 2015 Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Mohammad sentenced Moghisseh and Daemi to 14 years in prison, Alishenas to 10 years, and Rostami and Nouri to seven years each for “assembly and collusion against national security” and “insulting the supreme leader.”
In October 2016, the Appeals Court reduced the sentences against Daemi and Alishenas to seven years in prison each while Aso Rostami and Ali Nouri were each given two years in prison. Daemi is facing new charges.
“The sentences were handed down under the influence of the security forces,” Rostami told the Campaign in October 2016. “We did not see any signs of a fair trial in any of our court sessions. The first trial lasted barely 10 minutes. The lawyers were not allowed to have a copy of the indictments and they weren’t given a chance to present a defense.”