A young lawyer who was sentenced by a Revolutionary Court in Iran to a two-year suspended prison term for critical remarks he made four years ago has been acquitted.
Mohammad Ali Kamfiroozi was tried on charges of "insulting" the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, but in fact his only asked if the top leader can be questioned or not.
While confirming his acquittal, Kamfirouzi tweeted on Saturday, July 4, that he should be happy for the verdict but "has a guilty conscience," knowing that students across the clergy-dominated Iran who were convicted only for writing "a few articles, participating in protest rallies and chanting slogans."
Many social media users have attributed the young lawyer’s acquittal to widespread reactions and condemnations to the initial verdict on social media.
Son of a "shahid" (martyr, killed in Iran-Iraq war, 1980-88), Kamfirouzi used to be a regular guest at Khamenei's annual gatherings with university students.
Those allowed to attend Khamenei’s gatherings are hand-picked students who are instructed what to say and how to behave while in the presence of the Supreme Leader. They are deemed to be politically reliable and ideologically loyal.
However, during one of these meetings on July 2, 2016, Kamfirouzi dared to remind Khamenei that the Islamic Republic authorities arrest and violate citizens' rights despite statements by Khamenei himself that the criticism of the Supreme Leader is allowed. The statement was deemed as an afront to the country’s ruler and Kamfirouzi has been harassed by intelligence services and Revolutionary Courts ever since.