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In the Penal Colony

Three Judgments of the Islamic Republic’s Courts:

Sina Monirzadeh and Zohreh Sarv are served with their senteces in Evin and Qarchak Varamin Prison on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Sina Monirzadeh had an account on Instagram with the alias “Babak Parsi” and Zohreh Sarv’s was called “Mahfar”. The court sentenced each to three years in prison on charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader.” In the sentencing letter, two other punishments are listed as well:

Four months of effective work in Basij (a branch of IRGC) and reading the inference of Hojarat Surah (Quran)

On Monday, March 23, Sajjad Salarvand at Tehran’s Grand Prison was sentenced by the Pardis Criminal Court. In this verdict, Sajjad Salarvand is sentenced to 1 year in prison on charges of “forming a group or gathering aimed at disrupting national security and disorderly conduct leading to public safety disruption”.

Sajjad Salarvand, son of Noor Ali, born in August 1998 in Tehran’s Bomehen district, was a construction worker prior to being arrested. IRGC agents arrested him on November 16, 2019 during the “nationwide November protests” in Bomehen and transferred him to the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Detention Center, Section 2-A of Evin Prison. He was interrogated and tortured for 11 days and then taken to the Greater Tehran Prison.

The sentence given to Sajjad Salarvand also carries another punishment:

3 months of cleansing corpses at the cemetery

Fatemeh Kohanzadeh received her sentence in recent days, from 1st branch of the Revolutionary Court in Karaj when at Kachoei prison. In this verdict, she was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and 50 lashes. Fatemeh was arrested on December 25, 2019 at 40th day of Pouya Bakhtiari’s death commemoration at Karaj’s cemetery (Sakineh Paradise) and taken to jail for interrogation. Pouya Bakhtiari is a victim of the November protests. Pouya was shot dead by IRGC agents in Mehrshahr, Karaj. IRGC Intelligence arrested the entire Bakhtiari family before their 40th day of his death and stationed snipers in the cemetery (Sakineh Paradise), his burial place, and helicopters hovering over the cemetery. Fatemeh has been accused of “propaganda against the system in favor of enemies”.

Fatemeh Kohanzadeh, daughter of Mohammad Ali, is married and has two children.

The court has also sentenced Fatemeh to two years of cleaning work at a hospital in Karaj.

The word used by the Judiciary to impose additional penalties is “supplementary punishment”. Staff washing corpses at the cemetery, hospital cleaners and active Basijis at the headquarters all do what is legally permissible in Iran and are eligible for labor laws and salaries. Based on these judgments issued by the Islamic Republic’s courts, civil society affairs in Iran are considered “punishable” by the judiciary. These punishments are considered “completed” after imposing a seemingly civil job on the defendant after a package of other types of punishment, ranging from physical and psychological torture to intimidation of the relatives and family.

A closer look can reveal the mysterious relationship that the judiciary has built between “accusation” and “punishment” but what is at stake here is the picture that the Islamic Republic’s “judiciary” derives from civil society: a society taken as hostage, In a life where all jobs, even those that are called “freelance jobs” can be nothing but punishment. The judiciary, which is ruled by the mullahs, has fulfilled the mullah’s dream where world is the “punishment’s place” and has built a penitentiary the size of the entire Iran!

Like the “In the Penal Colony” of Franz Kafka, all aspects of human life in this vast prison are built around a dreaded old machine that engraves laws on the convicts’ body, older and more lucrative than the machine itself that no one can even read them, let alone understand.

This is a translation of article by Sahar.

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