Many Iranian citizens are denied access to education because of their activism in fighting for human rights. Today, we bring another example of the injustices and oppressive regime of the Iranian government in the case of Arash and Golrokh. According to the report of Boroujerdi Civil Rights Group (BCR Group) 30 year old Arash Sadeghi and his 35 year old wife Golrokh Ebrahimi, an Iranian couple who fight for student rights, have been arrested and sent to the infamous Evin prision. Mr. Sadeghi is charged with “gathering demonstration and collusion against the regime of Iran” Propaganda against the regime”, “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, and “spreading false news in cyberspace”. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. The judge in charge of his convictions, Judge Salavati, infamous for his bias against activists, brought back a 4-year sentence that had previously been suspended. Now he faces a total of 19 years in prison. His wife, Golrokh, has been charged with “propaganda against the regime of Iran” and “blasphemy” and sentenced to 6 years in an absentia trial. Judge Salavati has denied their lawyers access to their cases for unknown reasons. Political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Iran are routinely subjected to due process violations such as denial of full access to counsel or a lawyer’s full access to case files.
Arash and Golrokh are no strangers to injustice in the fight for student’s rights, and like many Iranian citizens who dare to speak out against the government and their severe violation of human rights, they suffer health issues from cruel and harsh punishments by the regime. Arash has been subjected to torture and imprisonment before and his poor health due to severe physical and psychological torture from previous imprisonments is of serious concern to his lawyers, who are being prevented from helping in the case to date. In October of 2010, his mother suffered a heart attack and died as a result of a raid by Iranian officials and ultimate arrest of Arash at his father’s home.
Golrokh suffers from complications from Overian Fibroma surgery and was too ill to attend her court hearing. This did not prevent the judge from sentencing her to 6 years in prison.
According to political prisoner and Human rights activist Behrouz Javid Tehrani, there is grave concern for the health and well being of this couple. Tehrani states, “I have not seen many who can survive 19 years of imprisonment in Iran, under conditions like malnutrition, illness and many other unexpected dangers and challenges like cancer which is the newest fast spreading situation going on in prisons. If we don’t help Arash and keep silent on this accusation and punishment or if we censor him based on our thought differences, then we have crossed the line of humanity”.
Arash and Golrokh, unable to gain access to their case, and unable to get desperately needed medical attention and subjected to the horrors that are commonplace in prisons like Evin, notorious for its unjust imprisonment and torture of political prisoners. Detainees at Evin routinely suffer broken ribs and severe beatings.
We cannot stand by idly while innocent Iranians suffer unjustly. Please show your support and sign the petition demanding the Immediate and Unconditional dismissal of Charges against Arash and Golrokh. Together we can act for change and hope; one signature at a time. Thank you!