The court hearing scheduled to examine charges leveled against two elite and award-winning students detained in a security ward was called off.
Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi, students of Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology, were violently arrested last year in April and taken to Evin Prison. They have been detained since in the notorious Intelligence Ministry Ward 209, and for a considerable period in solitary confinement.
In mid-March, the court session was scheduled for April 11, 2021, said Mostafa Nili, the defense attorney representing Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi.
According to Mr. Nili, his clients are charged with “Corruption on Earth,” a charge which is punishable by the death penalty. He said his clients were not allowed to attend the trial session for unknown reasons and so the court hearing in March was cancelled.
Mr. Nili said as their lawyer, he has not been able to talk with or meet his clients in person. It seems that a fair due process is seriously hindered in this case, he said.
Mostafa Nili said the preliminary investigations are finished. The case and the indictment have been referred to a court for examination. But his clients are still detained in the Intelligence Ministry Ward 209 in Evin. He said:
“It violates the rights of the accused to detain them in solitary confinement or a security ward. In many instances, this is an example of torture. Although we have submitted many objections in this regard, but my clients continue to be detained in the security ward. They are not even allowed to freely contact their families. And as their lawyers, we have not been able to talk to them, even a single word, during this period.”
Mr. Nili added: “Despite the presence of the lawyers and judges, we waited for two hours. We referred to the prison and asked them to bring the accused to attend the court session. The office of the court branch followed up without any answer. It seems that for reasons that we do not know, they refrained from sending my clients. As a result, the court has to convene on another date which will soon be announced.”
Ali Younesi, a student of computer of engineering, and Amir Hossein Moradi, a student of physics, were two elite students of Sharif University of Technology. Agents of the Intelligence Ministry arrested them on April 10, 2020, without presenting a judicial warrant. They were brutalized at the time of arrest and taken to solitary confinement in Ward 209 of Evin Prison.
They have been arrested for their ties to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
Twelve agents of the IRGC were involved in the raid on the residence of Ali Younesi, on the night of April 10, 2020. They beat him up and broke his forehead.
Amir Hossein Moradi is a silver medal winner of the National Astronomy Olympiad 2017. Ali Younesi is a silver medal winner of the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2016, and gold medal winner in the 2017 Olympiad.
Ali Younesi also won a gold medal in the 12th Universal Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad of China.
The two award-winning students were arrested on April 10, 2020. Plain-clothed agents, who did not have an arrest warrant, violently assaulted and beat the two students during the arrest.
Younesi, who suffered a severe head injury during his violent arrest by 12 security agents on April 10, was taken to Evin Prison following a search of his home during which his computers and mobile phones were confiscated.
On May 5, 2020, Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmaili accused Moradi and Younesi of establishing contacts with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and claimed that agents had found “explosive items” inside their homes.
Shortly afterwards, Ayda Younesi, Ali’s sister, posted a video clip on social media denying the allegation. She said the reason for this allegation was that their parents were political prisoners in 1980s.
On July 12, 2020, three months after their arrest, a meeting was held at the Palace of Justice in Tehran in the presence of Younesi and Moradi, as well as student representatives, Sharif University administrators, academics, judiciary and Intelligence Ministry officials, as well as two agents who interrogated the two students.
During the meeting, a film was shown in which two persons, who had no resemblance to the detained students, were seen setting fire to a building.
The security officials in the meeting claimed that the two were Younesi and Moradi—a claim that raised objections among some of the attending students.