CHRI – As Iran continues to imprison university students for attending protests, a judge in the city of Semnan, 140 miles east of Tehran, has ordered one to attend Friday prayer sessions every other week for two years while another one in Tehran has sentenced a young woman to seven years in prison.
All Muslims are required to observe the Friday prayer but mostly older, devout people attend the sessions in Iran, which are injected with political slogans and designed for propaganda purposes.
“About 14 medical school students were arrested during the December-January protests and convictions have been issued against two of them,” Deputy Health Minister Mohammad Reza Farahani told reporters on August 29, 2018.
“One of them is from Semnan and I haven’t seen the verdict but the student has been sentenced to participating in Friday prayers every other week for two years,” he added.
The deputy minister did not mention the student’s name or gender.
Charges against some of the detained medical students have been dropped but “six or seven” others are awaiting trial, added the official.
Female Photography Student Gets Seven Years
The previous day, Saeid Khalili, the attorney of Parisa Rafiei, a photography student at the University of Tehran, announced on August 28 that his client had been sentenced on her birthday by a preliminary court to seven years in prison, 74 lashes, a two-year ban on traveling abroad and prohibited from political and social activities for two years.
Agents of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry had arrested Rafiei, 21, on February 25.
“If it wasn’t unjust and unfair to sentence you on the evening of your birthday to seven years in prison for student activities, then how should we describe it?” Parisa’s father, Soltanali Rafiei, tweeted on August 29.
“It’s enough to compare your heavy sentence with the light convictions given to offending insiders [government officials or people linked with them] in order for everyone to grasp the extent of this injustice,” he added.
The charges against the 21-year-old Rafiei are “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state” and “disrupting public order.”
According to official sources, more than 150 university students were arrested in the aftermath of nationwide protests in Iran in December 2017 and January 2018.
In August 2018, 22 of the students were issued heavy prison sentences under “national security” charges for allegedly attending the protests.