Sunday , 21 April 2024

Uncle Of Amini Jailed For Supporting Iranian Protesters

rferl.org – An uncle of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman who died while in police custody for an alleged hijab infraction, has been handed a stiff prison sentence for comments he made about the protests sparked by his niece’s death that were critical of the Islamic regime.

Safa Aeli, according to Hengaw, a group that closely tracks human rights violations in Iran, was sentenced by Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in the western city of Saqqezto to a total of five years, four months, and 17 days in prison on charges of “participation in a gathering and conspiracy against internal security,” “propaganda against the system,” and “insulting the leader of the Islamic Republic.”

Aeli was arrested by security forces in a raid on his home on September 21, the eve of the first anniversary of Amini’s death, which triggered massive unrest around the country. Hengaw said he was “brutally assaulted” during his 42 days in detention before being released on bail.

According to Hengaw, the most severe sentence is for the conspiracy charge, for which he was handed three years, six months, and one day. According to Iranian law, that sentence will be the only one carried out.

Hengaw added that one-third of the conspiracy sentence is suspended for three years, conditional upon Aeli refraining from associating with anyone arrested during September commemorations of the anniversary of Amini’s death. He must also report to the Intelligence Office and complete three educational, ethical, and religious courses.

Tensions between the government and the families of those killed or arrested in the nationwide protests rose in the months before and just after the first anniversary of Amini’s death.

The government has been accused of stepping up the pressure on the victims’ families through collective arrests and the summoning of grieving families by security agencies with the aim of keeping them from commemorating the lives of their loved ones, which the government fears will trigger further unrest.

Reports indicate that on the anniversary of Amini’s death, security forces prevented her family from visiting her grave.

The public anger at Amini’s death has been widely seen as one of the biggest threats to Iran’s clerical establishment since the foundation of the Islamic republic in 1979.

At least 500 people have been killed around the country since the authorities began the current crackdown on her sympathizers, with thousands more detained or harassed.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL’s Radio Farda
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