Ali Younesi, computer science student, winner of the silver medal of the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2016, winner of the gold medal of the 12th International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad in 2018, Amir Hossein Moradi, physics student, winner of the silver medal of the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2017; both from Sharif University. On April 10, 2020, they were arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence’s plainclothes agents without a warrant, were beaten and transferred to the Ministry’s Detention Center, Ward 209 of Evin Prison.
One of the attorneys of these two students, Mostafa Nili, during a conversation with “Emtedad” yesterday, described a fraction of the horrible situation of these two students in ward 209: Ali Younesi “spent a short time in the security ward 240 and then was moved to this ward (209). In addition, he was kept in solitary confinement for 2 months and then he was in 2-3 men cells. Currently, my client is being held in ward 209 along with a drug trafficker and a corruption suspect. He’s now kept with two other defendants in a two-by-four-and-a-half-meter cell and is only allowed to go out for 20 minutes three days a week, and he’s forced to wear blindfolds, even though it is against the law.”
So far, two court hearings have been held to hear the charges against the two elite students at Sharif University. The first meeting was on July 3, 2021 and the second one was two days ago on Tuesday, January 25. Regarding what happened in these two court hearings, Mustafa Nili says that in the first hearing, the court identified “a series of flaws and shortcomings” in the case and referred it to the prosecutor’s office “to answer and rectify the shortcomings, during which time, without resolving none of these, the case was returned to court again. At the beginning of the second hearing, the judge questioned AmirHossein Moradi and Ali Younesi and conducted an investigation. Then, the lawyers, we laid down our defense. The clients then informed the judge of the conditions of their detention in ward 209, my client has been kept in this ward for almost 22 months now.”
Ali Younesi’s lawyer describes the deplorable conditions of his detention in the security ward of the Ministry of Intelligence, saying that he had repeatedly requested the transfer of the two students, but “the supervising prosecutor based on the request of the security forces to keep these two in this ward until the final verdict” has declined his requests. “The bylaws of the prisons organization explicitly state that every prisoner must have access to at least one hour of yard, commissary and library daily. These conditions are not provided for our clients at all and they are kept in horrifying conditions,” Mr. Nili said about the conditions of imprisonment of Ali Younesi and AmirHossein Moradi.
At the end of the interview, the attorney mentions a point that shows the depth of corruption in the regime apparatus clearly: “It seems that in this case, the security forces have acted beyond similar cases. For example, one of the things that happened in this case was that a person, as a representative of the Ministry of Science, met with my client while he was in solitary confinement and, after threatening and enticing him, asked him to repeat the what of the agents wanted.”
In a similar situation, September last year, interrogators told Ali Younesi that his brother had met with high-ranking Swedish officials and that he could meet with the Swedish ambassador if he wished, which Ali Younesi had discussed with his family, and they prevented Ali to fall into the trap of MOIS agents.
The cooperation of reporters with interrogators in preparing and making forced confessions of political prisoners earned them the title of “interrogator-reporter.” The cooperation of lawyers in sensitive cases, such as the case of Navid Afkari and Shahin Naseri, gave this group of lawyers the title of “interrogator-lawyer” or “security lawyer”. Now, someone from the Ministry of Science goes to solitary confinement of a political prisoner, trying to “break” the prisoner’s resistance “by threatening and enticement” and forcing him to confess. It is as if all regime apparatuses, regardless of their field of work, have become a branch of the Islamic Gestapo, which spreads corruption and crime in the most remote room of an employee, in the most irrelevant ministry.