Thursday, January 28, 2010
The Injustice of Today's Executions in Iran
What Arash was accused of, contacts with a terrorist group outside Iran, was supposed to have happened when Arash was a minor and under 18 years old. Even under Islamic Republic penal code, the punishment for contacts with terrorist groups is not death but prison sentence.
Arash was arrested along with his family members. His pregnant sister was also arrested and was frequently put in the same room with Arash when he was being interrogated. His father was also threatened that if he did not persuade his son to sign the confessions, he too would be arrested. Arash's father was also misled to think if Arash does sign the confessions all family members would be released.
Even though Arash's charges were nothing to do with the post-election protests, he was bundled in with the rest of the accused in the mass show trials that make Stalin look like Mother Theresa. In his televised recants it seemed obvious that Arash was reading from a text. He may have even given a clue within the narrow margins he had, when he referred to London as the 'country of London'.
His lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has exposed much of the above points said she was given 15 minutes only to meet her client and review his file, where she saw no evidence of any of the charges made against him. She was not even allowed to be present during Arash's show trial. The judiciary process for the appeal had not yet come to an end and Arash's family were never notified about the execution. They first heard about the execution of their loved one on the news.
I had a chance to tell all this on Aljazeera today: