An appeals court in Iran has upheld a 32-year prison sentence against university students Ali Younesi and Amirhossein Moradi, according to their lawyer.
The state-run Emtedad Telegram channel quoted their lawyer Mostafa Nili on June 6, as saying: “The Tehran Court of Appeals has approved the sentences of 16 years in prison for these two students at Sharif University, of which 10 years is enforceable.”
The Sharif University of Technology honor students were initially sentenced to a total of 32 years in prison in April.
Amir Hossein Moradi and Ali Younesi have been detained for the past two years in Ward 209 of Evin Prison, controlled by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, on charges of “conspiracy against national security” and “propaganda against the state.”
The families of the two elite students have denied the allegations.
Each of the students would have to serve 10 years behind bars unless the sentence is reduced or changed by the Supreme Court.
Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, allows defendants to serve only the longest sentence in cases involving multiple convictions.
State agents arrested Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi on April 10, 2020. Both are highly gifted students.
Ali Younesi is a silver and gold medal recipient in Iran’s National Astronomy Olympiad and the 2018 gold medal winner in China’s International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad. Amirhossein Moradi is the silver medal recipient of Iran’s National Astronomy Olympiad.
In May 2020, a month after Younesi and Moradi were arrested, Judiciary Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Esmaili accused them of having contact with “counter-revolutionary groups” namely the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
During their detention, the Ministry of intelligence agents beat them and held them in prolonged solitary confinement in harsh conditions to extract forced “confessions”.