Saturday , 19 September 2020

Eight Years in Prison and 74 Lashes for a Chocolate

Iran-HRM – A young man has received an 8-year sentence and 74 lashes for allegedly taking part in the November 2019 uprisings. His father says he is innocent and did not have any role in the protests.

The young man has been identified only as P.G. In an interview with Rouydad24 news agency, his father, an informal taxi driver, outlined some of the details of the life, arrest and legal proceedings concerning his son who has been sentenced to 8 years in prison and 74 lashes. Excerpts of this interview follows:

Our house is located in Amin Ave. in Khak Sefid (Tehran Pars). One of the branches of Parsian Bank is located 100 meters away from our residence. When I was going back home, I saw that the Parsian Bank had burned but the fire had been extinguished.

I told the story to my family. My son became curious and went out to see the bank. One week later, at 12 noon, a group of people came to our house and told my son that he had been involved in an armed robbery. They arrested him and took him and his motorbike away.

The fire in the bank was extinguished and the only people remaining in our street were onlookers. Then we heard that a group of people had gone to the branch of a chain store located several streets away. My son also went to the store and he was arrested with a chocolate. This led to his arrest, interrogation and imprisonment. Now, he is supposed to serve eight years for that chocolate…

Wherever we went, nobody answered us. We went to the police station, but we even did not know where my son was. We did not have any information about my son’s whereabouts for 48 hours. After two days, he called and said he was being detained in the Great Tehran Penitentiary. We kept to going back and forth to the prison. He was in jail for 75 days and eventually, he was released on a bail bond of 600 million tomans.

I am a taxi driver. My son worked in a carpenter shop. Neither me nor him are political. I have not been able to pay my house rent for three months. I borrowed to deposit his bail. We did not afford to hire a lawyer. I am following up on his case on my own. My wife and I used to go to prison early in morning to be able to do something for our son. At the time, the prison was crowded and many people had been arrested. Prison authorities did not answer our inquiries. Now, after they have issued an 8-year sentence for my son, a lawyer has accepted to defend him free of charge and follow up on his case.

My son had been detained in solitary for 4 or 5 days. He had been initially taken to an Intelligence Ministry jail, and subsequently transferred to prison. My son had just got married and his wife is very concerned. She does not know what to do if her husband goes to jail. We don’t know what to do. I am very concerned about his situation and his marriage. If he goes to prison for eight years, then he has to divorce his wife.