Three men sentenced to five years of prison for social media activity in miscarriage of justice
According to reports, a Tehran appeals court sentenced three men identified as Alireza Tavakoli, Mohammad Mehdi Zamanzadeh and Mohammad Mohajer for expressing their beliefs on Facebook and Telegram to five years of prison on charges of acting against national security and blasphemy.
A source close to these three internet activists said that they had been detained in Evin Prison since the summer of 2016…Like the court of first instance, the appeals court did not pay attention to the defense team and issued the sentence based on compulsory confessions extracted from them in the solitary cells of the Intelligence Agency. “In the initial court, they were not given the opportunity to get lawyers and in the court of review, when they did have a lawyer, the judge did not let him speak and said to write down his defense so that he could read it later”, an informed source said. “The first and second court combined lasted no more than thirty minutes; Twenty minutes for the initial trial and 10 minutes for the court of review”, the source added. According to the source, interrogators of the Ministry of Intelligence told the activists’ that calling their families to inform them of their whereabouts was subject to them confessing to blasphemy. This is while, it is a detainee’s right to inform his family of his whereabouts. “They were in solitary cells for a few days and their families did not know where they were. The interrogator said that if they told the truth about blasphemy, they would let them call their families and they said whatever the interrogators wanted them to”, the source said. According to this source, the activists are currently detained in Section 8 in Evin Prison.