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Sentencing And Punishments Continue Against Iran Dissidents

Student activists Majid Asadi, Payam Shakiba, Sadegh Gheisari, Sepideh Farhan, Roya Saghiri, Fereshteh Tousi.

A court of appeals in Iran has upheld the 23-month sentence verdict against a young student who had participated in the anti-establishment demonstrations last December/January.

Roya Saghiri, who has publicly opposed compulsory hijab, published her own verdict on Wednesday, July 11, in her Instagram account.

The appeals court judge accpeted the primary court’s decision, finding Ms. Saghiri guilty of “propaganda against the regime” and “insulting the state’s highest authorities”, Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported.

The charges, vaguely defined, are usually used against political and human rights activists who have been recognized as “anti-Islamic Revolution” and “anti-state” dissidents by intelligence and judiciary officials.

According to HRANA, 24-year old Ms. Saghiri, a student of Tabriz University, had earlier been sentenced to eight-month for propaganda against the state, and another fifteen-month for insulting the Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) by the second branch of the Revolutionary Court in city of Tabriz, northwest Iran.

Roya Saghiri, 24, a student of Tabriz University.
Roya Saghiri, 24, a student of Tabriz University.

Meanwhile, in another legal case, Ms. Saghiri has been condemned to a one-year suspended sentence and ten lashes for “disturbing public order, through participation in an illegal rally”, and “removing her headscarf in public”.

Ms. Saghiri was arrested at Sa’at Square of Tabriz on Monday, December 31, 2017, and has been detained in the central jail in Tabriz, capital of the northwestern Iranian Province of East Azerbaijan.

The nationwide uprising broke out on December 28, 2017, in Shi’ites’ holiest city in Iran, Mashhad, and spread to more than 100 other cities across the country.

The protesters, rallying against economic hardship, chanted slogans against Supreme Leader ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, calling for the downfall of the theocratic regime and longing for the return of Pahlavi royal family.

Hundreds of students were detained during the uprising, many of them for what was described as a “preventive measure”.

Allies of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, including the prosecutor-general and other conservatives, immediately accused the C.I.A. and other “foreign enemies” of directing the protests.

A pro-reform MP, Parvaneh Salahshouri, the chairman of the women’s parliamentary group, has recently stated that the number of students arrested after the January nationwide protests is around 150.

She has added that the identifications of some of those students has been published by courts in January nad many have been convicted to imprisonment, lashing, cash penalties, and prohibited from some social rights and travelling abroad.

Students of Iranian universities have held dozens of protests in Tehran and other cities, including in Babol, Ahwaz, Tabriz and Shiraz, protesting the heavy sentences issued for the students arrested during the Iran Uprising.