A family member of Ali Younesi, an Iranian student in prison for alleged terrorist affiliations, on Thursday said that his brother has contracted coronavirus while in solitary confinement.
In his tweet on Thursday Reza Younesi said in a phone call from prison after more than two weeks his brother informed the family he had been seriously ill with coronavirus. He also said his brother has been transferred to a group cell at Evin Prison's general ward after 59 days in solitary confinement.
Prison authorities refused to allow Ali Younesi's parents a to see him recently, according to the brother. Family members have not been allowed to see Ali since his arrest on April 10.
The family vehemently rejects these accusations.
Ali Younesi, a 20-year-old award-winning student of physics of Iran's prestigious Sharif Industrial University, was arrested at the family home by twelve agents who assaulted and injured him.
On May 5, the Judiciary Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Esmaili said two students were in detention for being affiliated with the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK) which is designated as a terrorist group by the regime and had been trained to carry out terrorist operations.
The MEK (also known as People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran) and its members have been persecuted in Iran since 1981. The group was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department in 1997 but was delisted in 2012.
Esmaili also claimed that explosives had been discovered in the residences of the students who had carried out harassment operations but not succeeded in causing serious damages.
"This was a conspiracy by the enemy that wanted to instigate a riot amid the coronavirus situation, but the conspiracy was neutralized as a result of the diligence of security forces," Esmaili claimed.
In his tweet Reza Younesi says his brother is still deprived of legal counsel. "A lawyer appointed by the family was thrown out of the public prosecutor's office last week," he wrote.
The Iranian legal system works in secrecy and individuals arrested on security-related charges and dissidents are never given access to unbiased legal representation or a chance to challenge such accusations.