Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee ordered to serve six years in Evin jail for unpublished fiction said to have been found in her home
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Iranian judges have ordered a young female writer and activist to serve a six-year jail term for writing an unpublished fictional story about stoning to death in her country.
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Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee received a phone call on Tuesday from judicial officials ordering her to Evin prison in Tehran, where her husband, Arash Sadeghi, a prominent student activist, is serving a 19-year sentence.
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Ebrahimi Iraee told Voice of America’s Persian network that she was sentenced to five years in prison for insulting Islamic sanctities and one additional year for spreading propaganda against the ruling system.
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“They haven’t issued a summons that was written [as required by the law],” she said in a Skype interview. “They called me using the phone of one of my buddies, Navid Kamran; they’d gone to his store to detain him and they phoned me from there to summon me.”
Ebrahimi Iraee said the authorities had ordered her to visit Evin to serve her term by midday on Wednesday. It was unclear on Thursday whether she’d gone to prison.
Amnesty International said that Ebrahimi Iraee’s circumstances was linked to a fictional story the authorities found in September 2014 when they confiscated their property and ransacked the couple’s house in Tehran.
“The charges against Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee are ridiculous said Amnesty’s research director for its Middle East and North Africa programme, Philip Luther.
“She’s facing years behind bars just for composing a story, and one which wasn’t even printed – she’s effectively being penalized for using her imagination.”
Stoning to death is one of Iran contentious punishments, frequently used against women accused of having an illegitimate relationship outside marriage. It triggered an unprecedented world-wide outrage in reaction to the high profile case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a girl sentenced to death by stoning for adultery in 2010.
Under pressure, Iran finally said it’d not use the punishment against Ashtiani, who was also accused of alleged complicity in the murder of her husband, but it is unclear whether she’s still in prison or has been freed.
Luther said: “Instead of imprisoning a young woman by expressing her resistance to stoning for peacefully exercising her human rights, the Iranian authorities should concentrate on abolishing.
“It’s appalling that Iran warrants it in the name of protecting morality, and continues to permit using stoning,” he said.
Luther described Ebrahimi Iraee’s conviction as farcical. She was refused the right to a defence and her term was a foregone conclusion. This is only the most recent example of the Iranian authorities’ absolute contempt for justice and human rights he said.
Iran’s judiciary has a history of using likewise obscure charges against campaigners and other activists in cases that are regarded as politically inspired.
Luther said: “we’re encouraging the authorities to immediately quash that of her husband and Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee’s conviction Arash Sadeghi, who has been behind bars since June for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of organization and expression.”
Evin is home to some of Iran’s attorneys and most revered activists, who are serving long prison terms.
Shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution, the penitentiary was meant to be converted into a museum to showcase the injustices under the late shah. But it’s become the Islamic Republic’s most infamous prison, which Evin university” is ironically referred to by many of its former prisoners since it’s a location where many notable figures meet and discuss thoughts.
A damning report by the UN’s outgoing secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, released earlier this week, also shed light on Iran continuing to hand down terms that are stoning. Prohibition said at least one girl, Fariba Khalegi, who has been accused of alleged participation in the murder of her husband and was detained in November 2013, was facing death by stoning in Iran.
“Khalegi was released without charges but was afterwards charged with having alleged killer is ’sed by a sexual relationship with her husband,” the report said. On 15 she was allegedly convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. On 27 the sentence.” was apparently upheld by the supreme court
Prohibition’s report said Iranian officials were determined that judges in Iran could sentence convicts to stoning if the punishment was not inconsistent with interpretations of Islamic law.