A revolutionary court in Tabriz, the capital of Iran’s East Azerbaijan Province, has sentenced twenty humanitarian aid workers to sixteen years in prison.
According to opposition website Kaleme, Branch 1 of the revolutionary court has sentenced twenty aid workers to sixteen years in jail for their role in the spontaneous relief efforts that sprung up after two strong earthquakes struck north-western Iran in August 2012. The individuals were all found guilty of “assembly and collusion for committing crimes against national security.”
Angered by the Iranian government’s weak and inadequate response to the earthquakes, many Iranian activist and ordinary citizens spontaneously organised relief efforts in the disaster areas.
During the humanitarian operations in the village of Sarand, a group of aid workers present at the sight of the devastation was rounded by the police and the Intelligence Bureau in Tabriz.
At the time, East Azerbaijan’s prosecutor Malek Ajdar Sharifi said the aid workers had been arrested for their role in the distribution of expired goods in the quake-stricken region.
One of the detainees, well-known blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, wrote a letter to the head of the judiciary accusing authorities of beating the arrested activists. He called for the offenders to be brought to justice. He also dismissed the charges against the group as baseless.
Ronaghi Maleki, who had been serving a fifteen-year prison term and was on sick leave, received an additional two years for his involvement in the relief efforts. Vahed Kholousi and Bahram Shojaei both received two-years terms. Behrouz Alavi and Hamid Reza Mosibian were sentenced to 27 and 30 months in jail respectively.
The following individuals were sentenced to six months: Farid Rohani, Hasan Ronaghi Maleki, Shayan Vahdati, Masoud Vafabakhsh, Houman Taheri, Sepehr Saheban, Danial Hasani, Ali Mohammadi, Morteza Esmailpour, Mohammad Arjomandi Rad, Mohammad Esmailpour, Mohammad Amin Salehi, Mohsen Samei, Milad Panahipour and Amir Rounasi.
Source: Iran Green Voice
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