Political prisoner Haniyeh Sanee Farshi’s mother breaks her silence one year after the arrest of daughter. In an interview with Jaras site, Farshi’s mother called court’s verdict in her daughter’s case “Unjust”.
Farshi with no prior political activity, was interrogated in prison mostly about her Facebook and online activities. She, along with six other bloggers, were tried, convicted and received very heavy sentences.
These bloggers were put on trial April 16, 2011 in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Their families and defense attorneys have recently found out the court’s ruling.
Initially all six bloggers were charged with “insulting the prophet” and “Moharebeh (waging war against God)” both of which, under the Islamic Republic’s Penal Code, carry the death penalty .
However, these charges were later dropped and all six bloggers were charged with, and convicted of, blasphemy and propagating against the system with intent to act.
Iman Masjedi and Sepehr Ebrahim were each sentenced to eight years in prison. Mohamad Reza Golizadeh and Haniyeh Farshi each were sentenced to seven years in prison. Hojat Nikouei and Ladan Mostofimoab were sentenced to five years in prison each and Amir Latifi was sentenced to seven years in prison and 74 lashes.
Haniyeh Farshi was put on trial without allowing her legal representation. She herself prepared her defense motion without having access to her case file or access to legal advise.
Twenty eight years old Hanieh Sanee Farshi, a citizen of city of Tabriz (N.E. Iran) is a high school graduate who was arrested on July 18, 2010 in a raid of her home by security forces for what mainly appears to be her Facebook membership and other Internet activities.
She was kept in solitary confinement under very heavy pressure and interrogations for two months before being moved to the general ward in Evin prison.
Haniyeh Farshi’s mother told Jaras, “We have filed an appeal in her case, but we have to wait for the Appeals Court ruling”.
Overall, Haniyeh seems to be in good spirits. Even though she was tried in a closed Court, but we were able to visit with her for about five minutes after her trial.
This is such a unjust ruling in her case. They did not allow her lawyer to see her or get her signature on the power of attorney papers. Her lawyer was only allowed to review her case file before filing a motion with Court of Appeals.
In reference to her charges, Haniyeh says the items in question on her site were not written by her but were comments sent to her by others.
Haniyeh has not committed Blasphemy, she has not insulted the sacred, others have written those things but in her sentencing papers the matter was described differently.
All Haniyeh has done is to tell the person she was having an online conversation with that “I don’t believe in
your kind of Imam Mahdi (the 12th Imam who is in occultation) but I believe in our kind of Imam Mahdi”. They have taken this statement as the reason for charging her with blasphemy.
Even though she was critical of the system, my daughter is not a political activist. She never had any political activity to cause them to arrest her as a political prisoner and sentence her to seven years in prison. She now has been in prison for one year.”
Haniyeh Farshi’s defense attorney Mina Jafari tells Jaras, “Haniyeh has been sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of blasphemy and insulting the Supreme Leader. I have filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals and am waiting to receive their ruling.
Unfortunately I was not present at her initial trial. In the appeals process, no appeals court session will be held; they simply review the defense motion, make a decision and issue a ruling.
Unfortunately in the Iranian Judicial system this has become the official appeals process. They don’t see any reason for holding appeals court except in special cases. This is a fallacy which we have always complained about. With this process, how can an attorney defend his or her client.”
She continues with stating that she still has not been able to see her client and said, “What can I say, when I can not see the appeals judge, and defense attorneys can not meet their clients with political charges. This a problem that defense attorneys have and it’s a matter that the Judiciary must address.”
Haniyeh’s mother also tells Jaras about her troubles with having to travel from Tabriz to Tehran to visit her daughter and complains about the high cost of plane ticket that she can not afford. She says she has to travel to Tehran once a week by bus for a twenty minute visit with her daughter.
She complains that her visits have all been through a glass window and she has not even been able to hug her daughter all this time.
Haniyeh’s mother says, “I don’t know who to turn to anymore, no one will give me an answer. I have repeatedly requested furlough for her. I was only able to see the Deputy Prosecutor General once, he said the Prosecutor General is not available and asked me to return.
I told him that I live in Tabriz, I can’t continue to impose on family and friends, I have been doing this for one year now and am embarrassed to keep imposing on them. He told me to fill out a form and they will get back to me. I still have not heard anything from them.”
In conclusion she said, “I hope the officials would reconsider their decisions on the verdicts they have issued. These are very heavy and unjust sentences. I was not expecting such verdicts. I thought to myself that they would release Haniyeh after the trial.”