Omid Alishenas, a 32-year-old civil rights defender, was arrested by IRGC forces in a raid at his house on December 10, 2016. He was taken to Evin Prison to serve his unlawful seven-year prison term, the BCR Group has learned.
Mr. Alishenas was previously arrested in September 2014 and taken to the IRGC-controlled solitary confinement ward in Evin Prison. On March 7, 2015, an Iranian court issued the following charges against him: “Assembly and collusion against national security”, “Propaganda against the system” and “Insulting the Supreme Leader” by Branch 28 of the revolutionary court in Tehran, presided by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh.
According to Mr. Alishenas’s relatives, he endured a total of 132 days in solitary confinement and was denied the right to prison visits for more than nine months. Iranian authorities reportedly tortured him both physically and psychologically and deprived him of his most basic human needs. Mr. Alishenas, a university graduate with a civil engineering degree, endured 16 months in prison before Iranian authorities finally agreed to release him on January 18, 2016 on a bail of approximately $230 thousand USD.
Omid Alishenas was initially sentenced to ten years in prison for his peaceful activism, such as raising awareness about child labor in Iran and attending peaceful gatherings in support of the Kobane children in Syria. The 10-year prison sentence was announced by branch 28 of the revolutionary court in Tehran in May 2015 and was reduced to seven years in prison in October 2016 by branch 36 of the appeals court in Tehran. Some of the accusations issued against Mr. Alineshenas include: supporting families of political prisoners of the 1980’s; protesting, especially in cyberspace, against the human rights situation in Iran; opposing the death penalty; and condemning the mass execution in the 1980’s.
Iranian Human Rights activists and friends of Omid Alishenas are urging the international community to raise public awareness about his unlawful arrest and imprisonment by launching a PETITION in support of Omid to bring pressure upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to release him immediately and unconditionally.