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IHRDC Condems the Death Sentence of Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani

PRESS RELEASE

October 9, 2009

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT – It has been reliably reported that Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani, a 37-year-old Iranian, was sentenced to death on Monday. Ali-Zamani was indicted and tried during a mass trial on August 8 of 100 suspected opposition supporters arrested after the June 12 presidential elections. The indictment, signed by thenprosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, charged Ali-Zamani with muharibih (waging war against God) through membership in the Royalist Society, insulting what is holy, propaganda activity against the Islamic regime, actions against national security and illegally exiting Iran.

Ali-Zamani was the first defendant to be tried during the August 8 trial. It is believed that he was not permitted to use his own attorney. His trial consisted of his lengthy confession, which was later shown on state television. He said that Royalist contacts in London and Los Angeles introduced him to American agents in Iraqi Kurdistan, and that he and others were to infiltrate the campaign offices of candidates, the university and the labor unions. He had been sent back to Iran to cause confusion among the people and decrease their participation in voting. He also said that he had met an Israeli agent for whom he was to compile information to be sent to Washington DC. He said that he was arrested before he was able to take any action.

Ali-Zamani was reportedly informed of his sentence by Judge Salavati after being transferred from the infamous section 209 of Evin prison to Revolutionary Court Branch 15. His sentence is appealable under Iranian law.

The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) condemns this death sentence. Ali-Zamani’s confession was almost certainly obtained through force and coercion, and he was tried without the assistance of his elected lawyer. Even if his confession were reliable, it does not indicate that he did anything warranting a death sentence.

The IHRDC is an independent non-profit human rights organization based in New Haven, Connecticut that was founded in 2004 by a group of human rights scholars, activists, and historians. Its staff of human rights lawyers and researchers produce comprehensive and detailed reports on the human rights situation in Iran since the 1979 revolution. The Center’s goal is to encourage an informed dialogue among scholars and the general public in both Iran and abroad. The human rights reports and an archive of documents are available to the public for research and educational purposes at www.iranhrdc.org.