Emaddedin Baghi Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison and 5 Years Ban from Political and Media Activities
27 , July , 2010
According to a new court ruling issued 2 years after the trial related to Defending Prisoners’ Rights Society, Emaddedin Baghi has been sentenced to 1 year imprisonment and 5 years prohibition from political, organizational, and media activities.
RAHANA- According to a new court ruling issued 2 years after the trial related to the Defending Prisoners’ Rights Society (http://www.dprs.ir/), Emaddedin Baghi has been sentenced to 1 year imprisonment and 5 years prohibition from political, organizational, and media activities. Meanwhile, he is also awaiting another court hearing related to the Ministry of Intelligence’s filed complaint about his interview with deceased Ayatollah Montazeri, aired as a documentary on BBC Persian TV channel.
According to JARAS, after Ayatollah Montazeri’s passing on 20 December 2009, a documentary of Baghi’s interview with Ayatollah Monatzeri was aired on BBC Persian TV channel several times. Later on 28 December 2009, Emaddebdin Baghi was arrested and detained for 6 months, 5 months of which he spent in the solitary or restricted cells of ward 240 in Evin prison. Discussing prisoners’ rights and execution of political prisoners were a number of critical issues in this interview. Emaddedin Baghi, author, researcher and human rights activist, was released on $200,000 bail after his trial on 23 June 2010, waiting for his second trial to be held on 17 August 2010.
This report adds the current ruling issued by branch 15 of Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati is related to Baghi’s trial held 2 year about activities of the Defending Prisoners’ Rights Society. This is while the Society’s office was closed down in 2009 during post-election incidents. Mr. Baghi has been detained 3 times so far and spent a total of 4 years in prison on charges related to his books, articles and publications.
According to the new court ruling, he has been charged with:
1. Acting against national security through propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran
2. Disclosing classified documents [about prisoners].
The judge disqualified Tehran Revolutionary Court from investigating of the second charge, but sentenced Mr. Baghi to 1 year imprisonment (maximum penalty under the law) and an additional sentence of 5 years prohibition from activities related to political parties, media and associations.
In a part of the indictment, it has been mentioned that Emaddedin Baghi had established the Defending Prisoners’ Rights Society in 2003 after his release from prison, and despite the fact that this Society has always claimed to be a human rights NGO and not a political association, the indictment emphasizes: “This society has had political activities, such as releasing the names of anti-revolutionary prisoners and spies, following up the cases and statuses of prisoners such as Reza Ameli (a prisoner convicted of assassinating Razini), Heshmat Saran (Secretary general of United Front of Iran Nationalism), Amir Asbbas Farkhavar, plane hijackers, agents of bomb attacks in Ahvaz, soft revolution activists, visiting the families of national-religious political prisoners, and collaboration with human rights organizations abroad.”
In another part of this indictment, it has been stated that Mr Baghi was stopped at the airport while flying to the USA in 2004, and was carrying the following documents which were confiscated:
1. DPRS-related documents,
2. Complete profiles and statistics of murders attempted in 2004 to be presented as an article on 2002-2004 executions
3. Invitation to presentation held in the USA and to receive a medal of Civil Courage
4. A statistical study about prisoners; political crime of publishing the names of prisoners
According to this indictment, other actions carried out Mr. Baghi leading to his conviction are
1. Communicating with the families of Christian prisoners to follow up their status
2. Following up cases of Kazemeini Boroujerdi, a detained student of Amir Kabir University of Technology, arrested teachers and scheduling an appointment with MP Hosseini
3. Presence of some of DPRS members (Ms. Mortazi and Govaraei) at the gathering in front of Revolutionary Court in 2006
4. Moral support of the agent of Ahvaz terrorist attack through writing letters addressed to the former head of the Judiciary and Minister of Intelligence
5. Publishing a report by the DPRS about prisoners
In an interview after hearing the court’s verdict, Mr. Emaddedin Baghi explained that the charge of carrying statistics of prisoners (is related to a paper titled “Death Penalty in Iran: a Report and Analysis (2000 – 2004)” which was sent to The 2nd World Congress Against the Death Penalty, jointly organized by ECPM (Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort / Together against the Death Penalty) and PRI (Penal Reform International) held in Montreal, Canada, from October 6 to 9, 2004. Also, the 4th document (statistical research … ) is related to an article published in newspapers inside Iran and on websites, and although newspapers which had published that article were forced to appear in courts several times for various reasons, no complain had been filed in regards to Mr. Baghi’s article.
He added that Mr. Hossein was an officer of Imam Path Fraction in Iran’s parliament, with whom Mr Baghi wanted to meet to discuss conditions of a number prisoners including the detained teachers.
He mentioned that his most important charge was following up prisoners’ status and giving financial and legal assistance to prisoners’ families which was an inherit duty of DPRC approved by the Interior Ministry, and even if such an association did not exist, it was the duty of each and every citizen to help prisoners’ families.
In his closing remarks, Mr Baghi said: “I expected to be acquitted (of these charges). The Defending Prisoners’ Rights Society and all of its elite members should be honored for their services they provided within the law, not punished. I believe that this very court ruling is the document proving the Society and I are innocent.”
A year in prison and five-year political ban for dissident journalist
Leading Iranian journalist and human rights activist Emaddedin Baghi has been sentenced to a year in prison and a five-year ban on political activity at the end of a two-year trial for forming an organisation that defends prisoners’ rights.
“We deplore this latest human rights violation by Iran,” Reporters Without Borders said. “With about 29 journalists in prison, Iran continues to be one of the world’s biggest predators of free expression.”
Arrested during anti-government demonstrations on 28 December 2009, Baghi was freed on bail last month. He is awaiting a second trial on charges brought by the intelligence ministry after he was interviewed by BBC Persian together with dissident cleric Hossein Ali Montazeri, who died last December.
The head of the Association for the Defence of Prisoners’ Rights, Baghi was awarded the French Republic’s Human Rights Prize in 2005 for his campaign to abolish the death penalty in Iran. He has also received the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.