Imprisoned Lawyer Faces More Imprisonment Sentence While Case Is Under Appeal

Imprisoned Lawyer Faces More Imprisonment Sentence While Case Is Under Appeal

Published by on January 28, 2019

Imprisoned human rights lawyer Mohammad Najafi has been slapped with additional time after being tried last week, according to his lawyer Payam Derafshan.

He was taken to court in the city of Shazand, in Markazi Province, on 15 January 15, 2019, to face an additional charge for his online posts.

The court sentenced Mohammad Najafi to two years imprisonment, increasing his total term to 19 years, and fines on charge of “spreading propaganda on social media aiming at disrupting public order.”

Mohammad Najafi was arrested for informing media outlets that local prison authorities had tried to cover up the true cause of death in state custody of his former client, Vahid Heydari.

He is serving a three-year imprisonment sentence in Arak Central Prison, in Markazi Province, and is awaiting the verdict of his appeal against the three-year prison sentence and 74 lashes he was sentenced to in October 2018 for exposing torture in prison.

He has been sentenced to an additional 13 years for two other sets of charges including “collaboration with enemy states through transferring news and information in interviews,” though it is not clear whether he will be ordered to serve that sentence.

Prior to his most recent charge, Najafi had also been charged with “disturbing the state” and “publishing falsehoods” for speaking to media outlets.

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Abolish death penalty

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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