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Two Detained Award-Winning Iranian Students Interrogated 'In Public'

Ali Younesi (R), and Amirhosein Moradi. FILE PHOTOS

In an unprecedented move, the Islamic Republic intelligence agents have interrogated two detained university students in a public meeting, says Aida Younessi, the sister of one of the detainees.

Ms. Younesi's brother, Ali, and Amir Hossein Moradi were interrogated in a general meeting of prosecutors, intelligence officials and others on July 14, without having access to their attorneys.

None of the relatives of the two were present at the gathering, Aida Younesi disclosed in a tweet on Thursday, July 17.

The two award-winning students were arrested in April and charged with a series of charges accusing them of violent acts.

Aida Younesi in her tweet has pointed out that two young could not speak normally during the interrogation, often breaking off, and has demanded to know what they have done to them in detention.

The meeting was held at the Prosecutor's office, attended by the so-called "case expert," who, as a rule, acts as the interrogator.

However, not only the interrogator but judicial and intelligence officials also bombarded the two detainees with a barrage of questions.

The interrogation was quite unprecedented since it was held in public and front of "spectators," including several officials from the Sharif University, members of students' associations, such as the Islamic Association of Students, Independent Islamic Society, the Basij, and the University Guild Council.

Based on several accounts published by those present at the meeting, judicial and security officials attempted to force the two detainees to accept some of their charges. The move was followed by an adverse reaction from the students present at the gathering.

The Islamic Association of the Sharif University of Technology wrote in a report that the detained students were denied the right to see their families and did not have access to an attorney or a legal counsel of their choice.

During the meeting, judicial officials also aired videos of several "sabotage" acts, claiming that they were carried out by Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi.

However, the Sharif University of Technology Students' Islamic Association has noted in its report that "the faces of the individuals in the footage were not identifiable," and the two detained students "did not confirm or deny their presence in the films."

In a part of the meeting, after constant questions and pressure from a judicial official on Ali Younesi to respond to the charges, student-spectators said that they were not there to "force the detainees to confess," and prevented the procedure.

Meanwhile, Ali Younesi requested to be released on bail and have access to legal counsel.

The Silver medalist of the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2016 and the Gold medalist of the World Astronomy Olympiad in 2017, Ali Younesi, was arrested on April 10, 2020, without being charged, and "after being severely beaten by officers."

On the same day, security agents also arrested students' rights activist, Amir Hossein Moradi, a physics student and the silver medalist of the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2017.

The spokesman for the Islamic Republic's judiciary, Gholam Hossein Esmaeili, has accused the two of having links to "counter-revolutionary" groups, "specifically" MEK, and "under the tutelage of the MEK," preparing for sabotage in the country.

MEK, Mojahedin Khalq, or MKO, is a dissident group based in Paris, and Tirana, Albania, attempting to overthrow the Islamic Republic.

Referring to the Judiciary's record of "mentally and physically torturing the defendants", "forcing them to confess," and pressuring their relatives, Ali Younesi's family has dismissed the allegations as "ludicrous," and a total fabrication.