Arash Rahmanipour’s Lawyer Speaks on the Executions

Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad Ali Zamani were executed today. They were accused of disturbing the public, even though they were arrested before the 2009 Iran election. Rahmanipour was 17 years old at the time he was convicted of his “crimes.”

Both young men were accused of Moharebeh (waging war against God), trying to overthrow the regime, and working with the Monarchist and Mojahedin organizations.
In the post-election mock trials, they both confessed to organizing protests, even though they were detained during the time of the protests [therefore it is not possible that they were involved in organizing a protest].

After their confessions were aired by state television, many commentaries were published on Iranian websites. One of the commentaries was from an individual who had shared a cell with Mohammad Ali Zamani. This individual wrote on Norooz website that Mohammad knew nothing about the events taking place outside the prison. He was asking others about the election and post-election unrest.

For days leading up to the mock trial, Ali Zamani was routinely taken out of his cell at 9:00am to prepare for his court confession. He was returned to his cell in the evenings. Ali Zamani had hoped to be released after the mock trial.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Arash Rahmanipour’s lawyer confirms the commentary published on Norooz website. In her interview with Deutsche Welle, she adds, “Rahmanipour told me he had been under pressure and was promised to receive only 10 years of detention instead of execution if he confessed to the acts not committed by him. But this did not happen.”
According to Nasrin Sotoudeh, the Intelligence Service had demanded from Arash´s father to force his own son to confess, otherwise they would arrest him too.
Even Nasrin Sotoudeh was threatened. “During the interrogation and the court, they did not let me attend. Once, as I insisted to attend the court to defend my client, they threated to arrest me too. They even took away my license,” she explains.

The Arrest before elections
According to Nasrin Sotoudeh, Arash Rahmanipour was arrested at his home, together with his sister. His sister was pregnant when they arrested her. She lost the child after her release.
The sister’s medical documents were sent to court.
Nasrin Sotoudeh adds, “Contrary to the Revolutionary Court’s claim, my client was arrested from his home. My client was 19 years old when he was arrested. Arash is another victim of child executions since many of the accusations against him were regarding incidents that occurred when he was 16 or 17 years old.”

Hidden Execution
The Files of Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani were sent to the High Court for revision. Nasrin Sotoudeh was informed about this. But the lawyers and the families of the two young men were only informed today (Thursday January 28, 2010) of the executions through news in the media.
Nasrin Sotoudeh is now worried about more executions. “ I am worried now about the possible execution of my other two clients, Mr. Ayyoub Porkar and Reza Khademi.”


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