Two detained award-winning Iranian students continue to be denied legal counsel and family visits after being arbitrarily detained since 10 April 2020.
During the past months, Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi were tortured to make confessions and held in solitary confinement for nearly two months.
The two award-winning students were interrogated in a general meeting of prosecutors, intelligence officials and others on July 14, without having access to their attorneys.
None of the relatives of the two were present at the gathering.
The interrogator, judicial and intelligence officials bombarded the two detainees with a barrage of questions and attempted to force them to accept some of their charges.
Reza Younesi, Ali’s brother wrote in his Twitter account that some “so-called” professors and students “who are fully tied to security forces” played “the role of interrogators in a group interrogation session.”
He emphasized that “even in that group interrogation session” Younesi and Moradi “did not accept their charges.”
According to the report by the Islamic Association of students, Ali Younesi said: “I only want my case out of the Intelligence Ministry so I can defend myself in court.”
According to several published reports, it is clear that the two detained award-winning Iranian students have been under pressure to pressure to make televised confessions during their detention.
During the Ali Younesi said in part during the mock meeting that he is not willing to be interviewed on a television program.
Moradi also said: “There are many things I want to say, but I can’t do it in just a few minutes.”
During the meeting, judicial officials also aired videos of several “sabotage” acts, claiming that they were carried out by Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi.
The Sharif University of Technology Students’ Islamic Association noted in its report that “the faces of the individuals in the footage were not identifiable,” and the two detained students “did not confirm or deny their presence in the films.”
The interrogation session the Islamic Association of the Sharif University of Technology wrote in its report that the detained students were denied the right to see their families and did not have access to an attorney or a legal counsel of their choice.
Ali Younesi’s sister wrote on her Twitter account on July 22 regarding her brother’s condition and his lack of access to a lawyer:”It has been 31 days since the 72nd day of his arrest, when we were informed that the case investigator, Jafari, has selected a public defender from the list of security lawyers, without the consent of Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi and their families. At the same time, my father objected to Jafari, and later Ali said in a phone call that he had not accepted the public lawyer. But Jafari said you have to accept and there is no other way.”
In another tweet, she also said: “The public lawyer (Reza Dardizadeh) that you have appointed is more paving the way for the scenario of the security forces than defending my brother!!!”
The authorities arrested Ali Younesi, 20, on a Tehran street on April 10, 2020, then took him to his house with blood on his face to search his belongings. His friend, Amirhossein Moradi, also 20, was arrested the same day.
On May 5, the judiciary’s spokesperson Gholamhossein Esmaili, accused the two students of having ties to People’s Mojahedin Organization on Iran (PMOI/MEK), and of pursuing “destructive” actions.
Ali Younesi is a silver and gold medal recipient in Iran’s National Astronomy Olympiad and the 2018 gold medal winner in the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad held in China. Amir Hossein Moradi is the silver medal recipient in Iran’s National Astronomy Olympiad.
On May 7, the National Council of Resistance on Iran (NCRI), published the names of 18 other “supporters” who were arrested over the past few months.
Under article 48 of Iran’s 2014 criminal procedure, detainees charged with various offenses, including national or international security crimes, political and media crimes, must select their counsel from a pre-approved pool of lawyers selected by Iran’s judiciary during the investigation. In June 2018, the judiciary published a list that included only 20 lawyers allowed to represent people charged with national security crimes in Tehran province. The list did not include any women or human rights lawyers.
International law guarantees anyone accused of a crime access to a lawyer at all stages of criminal proceedings, including during the investigation, the pretrial proceedings, and during the trial itself. Under Article 1 of the UN basic principles of the role of a lawyer, “All persons are entitled to call upon the assistance of a lawyer of their choice to protect and establish their rights and to defend them in all stages of criminal proceedings.”