Imprisoned elite students under pressure to make televised confession

150 days after their arrest, Ali Younesi and Amirhossein Moradi continue to be held in detention without access to a lawyer of their choice and are under continued duress to make televised confessions. They have been told that they will not be sentenced to death if they make a televised confession.

According to Iran Human Rights, Ali Younesi and Amirhossein Moradi, two elite students detained 150 days ago without a prior legal summons, are still being denied access to a lawyer of their choice.

Furthermore, according to one of their friends, the detention orders to keep them behind bars are regularly renewed, and they are being pressured to make televised confessions.

Ali Younesi, a computer engineering student at Sharif University of Technology, and Amirhossein Moradi, a physics student at the university, were detained by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ intelligence service without a legal summons on April 10 and transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence’s Ward 209 of Evin Prison. They were transferred to a larger cell after spending 59 days in solitary confinement. The two prisoners, considered elite students, have only been permitted a few phone calls to their families.

On July 13, in an unprecedented move, the judiciary held a meeting with officials, professors and student associations, some of whom have close ties with the security forces, at Sharif University, which was comparable to a public forced confession session. According to published reports of the meeting, Ali Younesi clearly states: “I just want my case to leave the ministry (of intelligence) detention and go to court so I can defend myself there. I am now also worried about my family in case they get into trouble.”

IHR director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam had previously said that “apparently, the intelligence services do not to have any credible evidence against them, and the two students seem to be under pressure to confess to the false charges.”

According to the reports published from the meeting, amongst others, the two students have been accused of bombings and collaborating with the Mojahedin Khalgh (MEK), which can carry heavy sentences under Islamic Republic laws. News of the accusations brought against the two students were first announced by the judiciary spokesperson, Gholamhossein Esmaili on May 5.

While at high school, Ali Younesi won silver and gold at the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2016 and 2017 respectively. In his senior year of high school, he won the gold medal with the Iranian national team at the 2018 World Astronomy Olympiad in China. He is studying computer science at Sharif University of Technology. Amir Hossein Moradi, who is a student of physics at the same university, also won silver at the 2017 Iranian Astronomy Olympiad.

It should be noted that the Iranian security services have a history of making false allegations and forcing false confessions under duress. In one case, Maziar Ebrahimi, an Iranian citizen, was arrested on charges of involvement in the assassination of nuclear scientists in 2012 by the Ministry of Intelligence. He pleaded guilty to the allegations in a televised confession, but was acquitted and released in 2014 when his innocence was proven following a dispute between the IRGC and the Ministry of Intelligence. It is believed that many people have been victims of false allegations charges and never had the opportunity to prove their innocence.

Source » iranhr

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