Judge Moghiseh Accused of Cursing at Magazine Editor During Bail Hearing
The former editor-in-chief of the Sedaye Parsi (Persian Voice) political magazine, Masoud Kazemi, was detained on May 22, 2019, after being unable to post bail, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.
During the hearing, presiding judge Mohammad Moghiseh also cursed at Kazemi and displayed “unimaginably strange” behavior, according to his lawyer.
“At the hearing… at Branch 28 of the revolutionary court, the bail was raised from 100 million tomans [$23,720 USD] to one billion tomans [$237,206 USD] and as a result, he was detained and sent to Evin [prison],” Kazemi’s attorney, Ali Mojtahedzadeh, tweeted.
Mojtahedzadeh’s tweet implied that his client was unable to post the high bail amount.
“The behavior displayed by [Judge] Moghiseh was absolutely unbecoming of a judge, especially a cleric,” Mojtahedzadeh said in another tweet. “He cursed at Masoud Kazemi during the trial and exhibited conduct that was unimaginably strange.”
“I have never seen such behavior during any other trial,” he said during an interview with the state-funded Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). “At the end of the trial, when I was allowed to present a defense, I said the court had deviated from justice.”
Judge Moghiseh is known for submitting to pressure by intelligence agencies in politically sensitive cases brought by the Revolutionary Guards or the Intelligence Ministry against peaceful detainees including journalists, activists, and dissidents.
According to testimonies cited by Justice for Iran, an organization that has conducted extensive research on the execution of thousands of political prisoners without due process in Iran in the 1980s, Moghiseh also played a significant role in the torture and persecution of political prisoners in Gohardasht, Evin, and Ghezelhesar prisons during that time.
Kazemi was initially accused of “publishing falsehoods,” “insulting the supreme leader and officials,” and “propaganda against the state” but during the trial he was informed of a new charge, “assembly and collusion against national security,” according to Mojtahedzadeh.
A former reporter who had worked at several prominent reformist newspapers including Ghanoon and Shargh, Kazemi was arrested on November 6, 2018, in connection with his tweets about alleged corruption at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade, and for questioning President Hassan Rouhani’s presidential adviser Hesamoddin Ashena about the murders of Iranian dissidents in the late 1990s.
He was released on bail five days later.
The attorney also tweeted that he had been given a week to submit a written defense after which the court would issue a verdict.