Iran sentences unnamed 2 as spies
Attorneys for two Americans say cases unrelated to theirs
By THOMAS ERDBRINK, The New York Times
Posted: August 31, 2015 at 4:24 a.m.
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's judiciary on Sunday sentenced two people to 10 years in prison for spying for the United States and Israel, but their names were not released, local media reported.
It is not uncommon in Iran to hand down sentences without revealing names of the convicted, especially in matters involving national security. Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi told reporters that a revolutionary court, which is also handling Iranian-American reporter Jason Rezaian's case, had sentenced the two "due to their espionage for the United States and Israel," he said, according to the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency.
Iran in the past has organized court cases for those charged with spying, in one instance even executing one before the announcement of his trial in 2010. That man, Ali-Akbar Siadat, was hanged at Evin prison in Tehran after he had been found guilty of passing information about the country's military capability to Israel, including on Iran's missile program.
The lawyer for Rezaian, a reporter for The Washington Post, said the case "has nothing to do with the case of my client." Leila Ahsan said the court has yet to issue its verdict on Rezaian.
Relatives of Rezaian, who has been held in Iran since July 2014, are waiting for a verdict to be issued, after court proceedings against Rezaian ended this month.
Mohseni Ejehi said he did not know whether a verdict in his case had been reached. "But the final session took place two weeks ago," he said.
Rezaian is charged with spying and assisting the "hostile" U.S. government, Iran's judiciary has said.
Despite four sessions in a closed court, no further details of the case or the allegations have been publicized.
According to Iranian (Islamic Republic) law, a verdict needs to be issued one week after the final court session. Rezaian's last session was held Aug. 10.
Instead of issuing a verdict, Iran's judiciary issued a statement saying that it was up to the judge, Abdelqassem Salavati, to decide whether the Aug. 10 session was the final one.
State TV quoted Ahsan as saying that a verdict had been issued but not announced, but in a phone interview she denied that she had said such a thing.
"I said I suppose a verdict has been issued by now, but I have no further information," Ahsan said.
In a news conference this month, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Marzieh Afkham, highlighted the fate of what she said were 19 Iranian citizens in U.S. prisons.
Analysts said this could be a hint for a potential prisoner swap, but another Iranian official ruled out such a plan.
"An exchange of Jason Rezaian is not on the agenda. Each of the issues has their own separate case," Hassan Qashqavi, Iran's deputy foreign minister in charge of legal and consular affairs, was quoted as saying in Iranian semiofficial news agencies Tasnim and Fars.
In October, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi announced the arrest of multiple spies in Bushehr province, home to Iran's first nuclear plant.
It is unclear whether the two convictions are related to that case.
"Some services like Mossad, the MI6 and the CIA and the countries which are enemies of Iran are naturally in pursuit of negative objectives in the Islamic Republic or sometimes they act directly and leave negative effects in political, economic and social fields," Alavi had said, referring to the spy agencies of Israel, Britain and the U.S.
"Our nuclear, defense and missile industries and advanced technologies are the arenas in which they seek to gain intelligence and carry out sabotage operations," he added.
Iranian officials often accuse separatists along its borders of working for Western intelligence agencies. In 2010, mysterious explosions took out several gas pipeline hubs across the country. In 2011, the top commander of Iran's missile program was killed in a huge blast that many say was also caused by sabotage.
Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, the lawyer for Amir Hekmati, the Iranian-American former Marine who was convicted of spying for the CIA in 2012 by an Iranian court, said he had no idea who the two convicted spies were or what they have done.
"I am trying to get a pardon for my client," Tabatabaei said of Hekmati. "They now agree he is not a spy," he said of the courts that are still studying his case.
"But they still accuse him of cooperating with the United States as an Iranian, in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan."
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انگشتان یک سارق مسلح در زندان مرکزی مشهد قطع شد
به گزارش روزنامه خراسان، حکم قطع انگشتان دست و پای یک متهم در زندان مرکزی مشهد اجرا شده است. به نوشته این روزنامه، متهم از اعضای باندی بوده که از بانکهای شهر مشهد سرقت مسلحانه میکرده است.
بر اساس گزارش روزنامه خراسان، صبح روز سهشنبه (۱۳ مرداد/ ۴ اوت) قطع انگشت دست و پای یک سارق مسلح در زندان مرکزی شهر مشهد اجرا شده است.
وی از اعضای باندی بوده که از بانکهای شهر مشهد سرقت مسلحانه میکرده است. متهم که با نام "مهدی – ر" معرفی شده است، "پس از انجام چند فقره سرقت مخوف همراه با تیراندازی"، دستگیر و محاکمه شده بود.
شعبه دوم دادگاه انقلاب اسلامی مشهد پس از اتمام محاکمه، به قطع انگشتان دست راست و بخشی از پای چپ نامبرده رای داد و سرانجام این حکم روز سهشنبه با حضور مسئولان اجرای احکام به اجرا درآمد.
در قانون مجازات اسلامی و بر اساس ماده ۱۹۸، مجازاتهایی چون سنگسار، قطع اندامهای بدن و شلاق برای سارق در نظر گرفته شده است.
روزنامه خراسان ماه گذشته هم از اجرای قطع انگشتان دست دو زندانی دیگر در محوطه زندان مرکزی مشهد خبر داده بود. شعبه ۱۳۶ دادگاه عمومی و جزایی مشهد به اتهام "حرز" چنین حکمی را برای آنان صادر و اجرا کرده بود.
حرز در قانون مجازات اسلامی به معنای محل نگهداری مال به منظور حفاظت از دستبرد است.
کمپین بینالمللی حقوق بشر در سالهای گذشته بارها از مقامات ایران درخواست کرده که استفاده از مجازاتهای غیر انسانی و تحقیرآمیز مانند قطع انگشتان دست و یا شلاق زدن را متوقف کند.
مرداد ماه سال ۱۳۹۳ هم حکم یک زندانی که به جرم سرقت به قطع چهار انگشت دست محکوم شده بود در شهرستان ابرکوه استان یزد در ملا عام اجرا شد.
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Islamic Republic (Iran)'s blinds man in 'eye for an eye' justice
By Ralph Ellis, CNN Updated 12:00 AM ET, Sat March 7, 2015
(CNN)Iran's judicial system believes in the ancient concept of "an eye for an eye" -- literally.
On Tuesday, a man convicted of blinding another man in an acid attack was himself forcibly blinded in one eye, according to Amnesty International and Tasnim News, a semi-official news website.
The punishment is believed to be Iran's first case of Qasas, meaning retribution in kind, Tasnim News said.
Amnesty International denounced the sentence.
"This punishment exposes the utter brutality of Iran's justice system and underlines the Iranian authorities' shocking disregard for basic humanity," said Raha Bahreini, Amnesty International's Iran researcher. "Meting out cruel and inhuman retribution punishments is not justice. Blinding, like stoning, amputation and flogging, is a form of corporal punishment prohibited by international law. Such punishments should not be carried out under any circumstances."
The acid attacker had been hired by the victim's wife to throw acid in his face, Tasnim News said. Amnesty International said the attack occurred in 2009 in the city of Qom.
The defendant was blinded in his left eye at Rajai Shahr Prison, but the blinding of his right eye was postponed, Amnesty International said. The man was ordered to pay "blood money" and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Amnesty International said punishment has been delayed for another Iranian man in a "retribution in kind" case. That man had been sentenced to be blinded and made deaf, Amnesty International said.
CNN's Shirzad Bozorgmehr in Tehran and Elwyn Lopez in Atlanta contributed to this report.
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Islamic Republic (Irans) Blinds Acid-Attacker In ‘Eye For an Eye’ Justice
06 March 2015 - 9:16 AM Updated at 11:06 AM
An Iranian man convicted of blinding another man by throwing acid in his face has been punished by having one of his own eyes gouged out by medics, according to state media, an act which has prompted outrage from international human rights groups, and drawn comparisons between the Iranian authorities and Islamic State.
Davoud Roshanaei was blinded in the acid attack in 2005. Davoud Roshanaei / NewsWeek Courtesy
The punishment, carried out at Rajai-Shahr prison in the city of Karaj earlier this week, is thought to be the first of its kind in Iran.
The man, who reportedly fell unconscious after the punishment, was found guilty of throwing acid in his victim’s face five years ago, an attack which left his victim blind and disfigured for life. The perpetrator was sentenced to be blinded in both eyes, a 10 year prison sentence and was ordered to pay a fine.
Yet his victim, who under Iranian law has the final say in the punishment and can prevent the punishment at any time, decided at the last minute to postpone the blinding of his right eye for six months.
It has not been made clear whether the doctors involved were coerced into performing the act, although in the past there have been instances of them refusing to carry out such punishments.
“This is horrific,” says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, of the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights groups. “It is a brutal and criminal act, and very similar to what Islamic State is doing, but Iran is doing this as a state in a very controlled manner, using trained doctors. This form of punishment doesn’t belong to our time. What is happening in Iran at the moment is beyond alarming.”
Although this form of punishment is enshrined in the Iranian penal code, this is reportedly the first instant where the punishment has been carried out, and is certainly the first time the crime has been announced by the Iranian media.
Amiry-Moghaddam says that the attack was made public by the authorities as a way of cracking down on the opposition, and serves as a signal to the Iranian public that although Iran is taking part in negotiations with the the West and the US, nothing inside Iran has changed.
“This is a demonstration of power, it is the most efficient way of spreading fear,” says Amiry-Moghaddam. He is concerned that the international community is closing its eyes to human rights abuses in Iran because of the ongoing nuclear talks, and also finds it hypocritical that while Islamic State are roundly denounced for their brutal executions and punishments, condemnation of Iran has been less vocal.
While perceptions of Iran from the outside world may appear to be softening, Amiry-Moghaddam argues that the picture inside Iran is completely different. “The international community should not tolerate it or accept it, and these type of abuse should be met with the strongest condemnation,” he says.
The brutal attack comes amid a week of more state-sponsored violence, with a shocking 31 men being executed at three different prisons between Monday to Wednesday this week, according to Iran Human Rights. A second man was also sentenced this week to the punishment of losing one eye and one ear, but the case has been postponed for two months.
There is also concern that acid attacks are on the rise across the country. Last October, thousands of Iranians took to the streets in Tehran and Isfahan City, after at least six women suffered acid attacks in just a few weeks.
Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a New York based NGO, believes that the women were targeted for violating Islamic dress codes, and linked the surge in attacks to recent rhetoric from conservative leaders.
“This comes in the midst of a year-long verbal attack by conservative forces in Iran attacking women for their clothes,” Ghaemi told Newsweek last year. “There have been verbal warnings and calls that blood must be shed. These are not isolated incidents”, he added.
Iranian women are required by law to cover themselves in public with an enveloping head-to-toe veil. However many of them, especially younger women living in the larger cities, defy government regulations and societal convention by showing their hair or wearing supposedly “immodest” clothing.
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Islamic Republic (Irans)'s 'Happy' dancers sentenced to 91 lashes
18 Sep 2014 - 9:16 AM UPDATED 9:28 AM
The group were arrested in May for their part in a YouTube video, which showed three men and three unveiled women dancing on the streets and rooftops of Tehran to the soundtrack of Pharrell Williams' song, 'Happy'.
The clip – viewed more than 1.6 million times – was described as “vulgar” by police, adding that it had "hurt public chastity".
According to independent English-langaue site Iran Wire, six of the group were sentenced to six months in prison and 91 lashes.
One of them was given a sentence of one year in prison and 91 lashes, a story posted overnight stated.
All sentences suspended were suspended and will become null and void after three years, their lawyer Farshid Rofugaran said.
“When it’s a suspended sentence, the verdict is not carried out, but if during this period a similar offense is committed, then the accused is subject to legal punishment and the suspended sentence will then be carried out as well,” he said.
Following their arrest in May, state-run television broadcast what it reported as a video confession from the dancers.
In the edited video, the dancers were filmed from behind saying they were tricked into making the video.
"They told me they are making a feature film and they had a permit for it," one of the six said in the video.
On Twitter, Williams said: "It's beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness."
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Islamic Republic (Iran’s) judiciary sentences a defendant to death by stoning
Baku, Azerbaijan, 21 July 2014, 11:33 (GMT+05:00)
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Courtesy of its respected source
A local court in Iran's northern Mazandaran province has sentenced a defendant to death by stoning.
The head of Qaem Shahr city judiciary, Javad Borhani said that the 32-year old defendant has been sentenced to death by stoning, hanging and 15 years imprisonment, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported.
The person is charged with such crimes as adultery, rape, possessing of weapons, alcohol and satellite receiver equipments, the official said.
Borhani called the case one of the most important tasks of his office in recent months.
It should be noted that an Iranian woman was convicted of adultery in 2006 after her husband's murder and sentenced to death by stoning however an international outcry later forced Iranian authorities to suspend her sentence and put the case under review.
In September 2010, the European Union Parliament passed a resolution condemning Tehran, and declaring that "a sentence of death by stoning can never be justified".