Reverse Prison Sentence of Iranian Activist Peyman Aref Who Has Already Suffered Prison -- And 74 Horrific Lashes
- Ahmed Shaheed, UN, UNHCHR, State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament
UPDATE: January 27, 2015--HRANA News Agency – Branch number 36 of the appeals court has confirmed the one-year prison sentence of Iranian rights activist Peyman Aref.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), on the bases of the verdict of the court of appeal by Chief Judge Zargar, which has been published by Peyman Aref on his facebook page, this branch has confirmed the sentence of ranch number 28 of the Revolutionary Court.
Chief judge Moghiseh sentenced Peyman Aref to one year in prison on the charge of "propaganda against the regime."
Peyman Aref is the starred (i.e., expelled from university for political reasons) former PhD student of Political Science of Tarbiyat Modarres University and a member of Iran's National Front party, who has been arrested five times since the presidential elections of 2009 and has spent more than two years in prison. He was also viciously flogged.
The context of the verdict issued by branch number 36 of appeal court in regards to the case of Peyman Aref is as following:
Regarding the request for appeal referred to the verdict with the number of 28/24, dated on June, 1 2014, issued by branch number 28 of Revolutionary Court of Tehran, in which the mentioned person is sentenced to one year in prison on the charge of propaganda against the regime; considering that the sentence is issued according to the provision of the law in terms of proceedings, compliance and enforcement procedures and appeal was not in compliance with any part of Article 220 of the Revolutionary and Public Court Acts, and there is no justified and reasonable objection that would cancel the verdict, the aforesaid appeal on part one is rejected and the received primary sentence is confirmed. The issued sentence of part four is conclusive.
Mr. Aref remains out on bail at this time.
BREAKING NEWS: JUNE 10, 2014--PEYMAN AREF HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO ONE YEAR IN PRISON ON CHARGES OF "PROPAGANDA AGAINST THE REGIME." AS FAR AS HE KNOW, HE HAS NOT YET BEEN ARRRESTED TO BEGIN SERVING THIS PRISON SENTENCE.
BREAKING NEWS--ON MONDAY EVENING, APRIL 22, 2013 PEYMAN AREF WAS RE-ARRESTED YET AGAIN DURING A RAID ON HIS HOME. WE WILL UPDATE WHEN MORE INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE!
Peyman Aref, a student of political science at Tehran University, was sentenced in March 2010 to a year in jail after being found guilty of propaganda against the regime for speaking to foreign media.
Aref, who was initially arrested in the aftermath of Iran's disputed presidential elections in 2009, was also sentenced to 74 lashes for writing an "insulting" letter to Ahmadinejad and given a lifetime ban on working as a journalist or membership of any political parties.
His jail sentence came to an end on Sunday, October 9,. 2011-- but, hours before his release from Tehran's notorious Evin prison, Aref was told the lashing would be carried out.
A masked prison guard carried out the lashing in presence of Aref's wife and officials from Iran's judiciary. News of the lashing come only a few weeks after Somayeh Tohidlou, a female Iranian blogger and campaigner for former presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, was sentenced to a "symbolic" lashing for the same crime.
Unlike Tohidlou's symbolic punishment – designed to humiliate rather than harm – Aref was indeed whipped. Pictures taken after his release show his bloodied back covered in wounds.
"Lashing people sentenced to various charges such as those caught drinking alcohol is common in Iran but political activists are usually lashed for ambiguous charges such as desecrating Islam or prophets," said an Iranian journalist based in Tehran who asked not to be named. "Lashing Aref for insulting Ahmadinejad is shocking and unprecedented."
In a letter to the president during his 2009 election campaign, Aref attacked Ahmadinejad for his crackdown on students who had been politically active at university and barred from continuing with their studies.
Undergraduates and students who had criticised the government were given up to three "penalty points", according to the potential threat they were said to pose. Aref was among the "three-starred" MA students who were not not allowed to continue their studies. About 150 were starred.
Speaking to the website Rahesabz, Aref said after his release: "Whenever Ahmadinejad goes to New York [for UN general assembly], he boasts that Iran is the world's freest country but I was brutally flogged in my country for insulting him."
He added: "[My crime] was that I wrote an open letter to Ahmadinejad and reminded him of what he did to the universities." Authorities apparently have taken offense because Aref refused to begin his letter with the formal greeting "Salam" as a sign of protest. Iran's online community reacted with shock to Aref's lashing with many people sharing pictures of his back covered in blood on social networking websites.
On Tuesday, November 1, 2011, Peyman Aref was arrested once again, just days after his release.
The Rahana Human Rights House of Iran reported that Aref went to Evin Court on that day for processing of the charges against him and he was arrested once more.
Aref was previously arrested, along with fellow activists Assal Esmaizadeh and Sharar Konour Tabrizi, on Sunday, October 30, 2011 in Beheshte Zahra Cemetery. They were visiting the grave of Neda AghaSoltan, the young woman who was shot to death on the streets of Tehran during election protests in June 2009. The activists were released one day later.
After his release, Aref told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that there are no laws against visiting a grave and no arrest warrants were issued. He added that even after their arrest, they were not charged with any crimes.
The other two activists reportedly were released while Aref was rearrested. It is thought that Aref had angered the authorities by allowing his wounds from the vicious whipping ("lashing") to be photographed.
Aref was released in November, but it was reported that he was arrested yet a third time on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 by security agents at his home.
On March 24, 3012 The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported that Peyman Aref had begun his hunger strike in protest against his “illegal” imprisonment.
We, the undersigned, urge the international community in the strongest terms to bring all possible pressure to bear upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately release Peyman Aref after this latest arrest, and to drop any plans to bring charges against him as he has committed no crime.
He is, once more, a prisoner of conscience -- whose current incarceration, and previous prison sentence and barbaric lashing constitute flagrant violations of both international human rights treaties and covenants as well as the Iranian Constitution.
We further demand that the international community forcefully step up their demands for the release of ALL prisoners of conscience in Iran, and an end once and for all to the barbaric and criminal torture known as "lashing."
The Reverse Prison Sentence of Iranian Activist Peyman Aref Who Has Already Suffered Prison -- And 74 Horrific Lashes petition to Ahmed Shaheed, UN, UNHCHR, State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.