Kazem Barjesteh Sentenced By Appellate Court In Absentia While Imprisoned In Evin

Kazem Barjeste

The Tehran Appellate Court has upheld the 5 year imprisonment sentence of Green Movement activist, Kazem Barjesteh on charges of assembly and collusion with intent to act against the national security.

Simultaneously with the Attorney General’s escalating threats against the Iranian Diaspora who are planning to return to Iran, Branch 54 of the Appellate Court upheld the 5 years imprisonment sentence of Kazem Barjesteh in absentia.

Kazem Barjesteh, an activist in Mir Hossein Mousavi’s 2009 presidential campaign, was arrested on February 16, 2014 at Imam Khomeini International Airport upon his return to Iran, and was transferred to Ward 350 of Evin prison.

Last month, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Moghayeseh, refused Barjesteh’s request for a hearing to protest his sentence that was issued in absentia by the lower court.

Based on this unusual judicial process, the 5 year imprisonment sentence of Kazem Barjesteh was upheld by the Appellate Court, while he has been imprisoned for more than four months, and has never been given the opportunity to appear before a court to defend himself.

This political prisoner and his defense attorney were never even given any information as to which branch of the Appellate Court would review his case.

This unusual action by the court occurred while Kazem Barjesteh was not even given a chance to defend himself. Yesterday the Attorney General made a statement saying that it’s to the best of interest of those who have left the country and are under indictment to return to Iran. He further said that he suggests those under a warrant to return to Iran to follow up on their cases.

Kazem Barjesteh, an activist in the campaign headquarters of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s 2009 presidential election, was arrested during the bloody events of Ashura (December 2009). He was released on bail after 35 days of imprisonment.

During his initial trial he was not able to appear in court to defend himself due to his living in Germany as a post-graduate Philosophy student.

This illegal sentencing process deprived a defendant’s basic right to defend himself.

The Attorney General, Mohseni Ejei, in Monday’s news conference, announced that 27 people connected with the Sedition Movement have been indicted, and their cases forwarded to court for further action.

He said that the court has issued rulings for 13 people, of whom 4-5 of them were tried and found guilty in absentia. He further said that the court has not ruled yet for 14 people.

Source: Kaleme

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