Despite nearly 60 days since the arrests of two elite students of Sharif University of Technology, Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi, they are still denied access to lawyers and visit their families.
Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi have remained in detention despite human rights groups and activists repeatedly expressing concern about their conditions.
Amnesty International said on May 12 that they are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
“University student Ali Younesi, aged 20, has been arbitrarily detained since his arrest on 10 April 2020, and the Iranian authorities have not provided clear information about the reason for his arrest. Instead, they have publicly accused him, and another university student arrested the same day of ties to “counterrevolutionary” groups and alleged “explosive devices” had been found in their homes, violating their right to be presumed innocent and raising serious concerns about their wellbeing. They are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment,” Amnesty International said.
In a joint letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, nine Nobel laureates warned that the arrest of the two elite Iranian students, Amir Hossein Moradi and Ali Younesi, paves the way for widespread and brutal repression of dissidents and students in the months following the coronavirus outbreak.
“We, the Nobel Laureates signing this letter, urge you, to use your good offices in making every effort to ensure that political prisoners, in particular Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi, are released immediately,” the Nobel laureates said on May 15.
Members of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons and House of Lords, members of the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) in a press release on May 7, condemned the Iranian regime’s arresting elite students particularly amid the coronavirus outbreak, and urged the UK government to mount international pressure on mullahs’ regime to release these prisoners.
Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi were arrested on April 10, 2020, and have been kept in solitary confinement ever since.
Ali Younesi, 20, who was the winner of the gold medal in the International Astronomy Olympiad in 2018 in China is a second-year computer science student.
The family of Ali Younesi says he was assaulted and injured by the twelve security agents who arrested him at his home.
The Spokesman of Iran’s Judiciary on May 5 accused the two detained university students of being affiliated with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.
The Judiciary spokesman also alleged that explosives had been discovered in the residences of the students who had carried out harassment operations but not succeeded in causing serious damages. “This was a conspiracy by the enemy that wanted to instigate a riot amid the coronavirus situation, but the conspiracy was neutralized as a result of the diligence of security forces,” Gholam-Hossein Esmaili further claimed.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus denounced the charges against Younesi and Moradi as “bogus” in a Sunday statement to the Washington Examiner.
“The Iranian regime is focused on harassing rather than empowering the most talented Iranians. We join the countless Iranians and others around the world in calling for their release,” Ortagus said, referring to the two students.
Political prisoners and dissidents are directly transferred to solitary confinement following their arrest for a period of intensive interrogation under the control of agents of the Intelligence Ministry and/or the Revolutionary Guards Corps Intelligence in Iran’s prisons. This process is accompanied by physical and psychological torture and various types of humiliating treatment.
Interrogation could last from a few days up to over a year and there is no law to define the length of this stage.
The Intelligence Ministry interrogators enjoy full authority. They are the ones to decide when they are done with prisoners and what kind and what amount of pressure the prisoners must endure.
Prisoners are held in absolute isolation, deprived of all interaction with the outside world. It is even impossible for them to have contact with their families.
Officials do not provide any information on the prisoner’s conditions or whereabouts to her family or anyone else.