Sunday , 2 April 2023

Milad Armoun, victim of injustice and possible execution by Iran

Iran-HRM – Milad Armoun, a 24-year-old citizen of Tehran’s Ekbatan area, has been arrested since November 3, 2022, for taking part in nationwide protests. Milad has been sentenced to death by Iran’s judiciary.

One friend who knows him well said, Milad is just about the gentlest person you find in Ekbatan. He works in a garment boutique here and his father owns a bakery in Ekbatan. Milad’s father is well respected in the town. Milad loves to be with animals and adores nature. He has taken up sports rather professionally for a long time.

Milad was at Ekbatan’s Game Center (Gamenet) on November 3, 2022, when plainclothes agents arrested him. He did not have the least preparations.
Iran’s state-run media had earlier reported about a Basij member named Arman Aliverdi. This 21-year-old member of the Basij forces was killed in Ekbatan on the evening of October 26, 2022. The same media reported Aliverdi was a student of religious education (Talabeh) in Tehran’s Shahran region. The Basiji member had strong presence in counterprotests within the capital’s district.
Two short videos showing how Aliverdi was beaten circulated on social media. His body was covered in blood, but the videos only showed Aliverdi. State-run media claimed that Aliverdi was “Kidnapped by some individuals. Stabbed multiple times with a knife,” on October 26, 2022, and left on the street side. He later died in Baqiyatallah Hospital on October 28, 2022, due to heavy bleeding.

Security forces made extensive arrests in Ekbatan immediately after Aliverdi’s death. They claimed Milad Armoun is one of the five main offenders in Arman Aliverdi’s murder case. Milad Armoun was sent to Shahpour Intelligence Department in Tehran. He was recognized as the prime suspect and taken to be tortured. The Shahpour Intelligence Department is one of the most dreaded torture centers.
Milad Armoun was held in solitary confinement for about three weeks at the beginning of his detention. The torturers kept him hungry for nearly 20 days and subjected him to the most severe tortures. Their aim was to make Milad falsely confess. They would threaten him every day by telling him to be prepared for execution.

Iran’s state-run media broadcasted a video of Milad Armoun’s arrest on November 4, 2022. He was blindfolded and repeatedly said, I did not have a knife and I did not do anything. I just saw about 40-50 people going towards one Basij member. I went to see what was going on.
Hossein Rahimi, Tehran’s police chief, puts his hand on Milad’s shoulder and stresses that Milad is one of the main defendants. Hossein Rahimi tells viewers that Milad was the person stabbing the security force.

Milad was recognized on security cameras taken of a crowd in Ekbatan’s Sarbaz (Soldier) parking lot. Tehran’s police only have a video of Milad Armoun heading towards the murder scene. There is no footage proving Milad stabbed the Basij member. Milad’s arrest was planned, and he has been wrongfully charged with the crime he did not commit.
The young detainee has not been allowed to obtain a lawyer till date. He has not been represented by a public defender either. Milad Armoun’s last trial was held on December 24, 2022. He was later transferred back to Prison where he awaits the court sentence.

Milad Armoun has been kept under intense pressure to provide names of other individuals. Iran’s intelligence forces want to make him testify against the individuals and state that they were involved in Aliverdi’s death.
Milad Armoun’s parents were threatened by intelligence officers to not talk about their son’s condition. They have been threatened to stay away from the media.
Milad was taken to the death scene on Sunday, December 18, 2022. State forces had reconstructed Arman Aliverdi’s death scene in Ekbatan Town. Other detainees related to the case were also brought to the place. The investigating judge, Tehran’s Intelligence and Police were present. The events were widely circulated on state media.

It remains the most crucial demand to protect Human Rights of detainees in Iran. The International Community can act by calling on their Ministry of Foreign Affairs to hold Iranian authorities responsible for violating these rights. Iran Human Rights Monitor has expressed the needed urgency to have prisons and secret detention centers inspected. All detainees held captive by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and its security forces must be freed.