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Iran Judiciary Accuses Detained Students Of Terrorist Affiliations

Gholam-Hossein Esmaeili, Iran's Judiciary Spokesman. FILE PHOTO

The Spokesman of Iran's Judiciary on Tuesday accused two recently detained university students of being affiliated with the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK) which is designated as a terrorist organization by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Gholam-Hossein Esmaili who was speaking to reporters said these students -- who were not named -- had established contact with the MEK and had been trained by the organization to "carry out terrorist operations in the country".

The students referred to by the Judiciary spokesman may be the 20-year-old award-winning computer science student of Tehran's Sharif Industrial University, Ali Younesi and another award-winning physics student, Amir-Hossein Moradi, who were both arrested on April 10. The family of Ali Younesi says he was assaulted and injured by the twelve security agents who arrested him at his home.

The Judiciary spokesman also alleged 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.

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.

The Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (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.

In recent weeks Iranian courts have sentenced some university students for participating in rallies to protest to the downing of a Ukrainian airliner on January 8 on charges of "acting against national security". The plane was shot down by Revolutionary Guard missiles and all 176 passengers and crew members on board were killed in the crash.