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Talk About Hamed Ghareh-Oghlani

Hamed Ghareh-Oghlani's arrest is more like kidnapping. His lawyer was more of a dealer than a lawyer, his court was more of a revolution than a court of justice.

He was born in July 1986 and arrested in July 2020.
When they wanted to arrest Hamed on July 27, 2020, the anonymous intelligence brothers pretended to be customers and tricked Hamed to go to an address in Urmia to install a CCTV camera, you know, installing and repairing CCTV cameras was Hamed Ghareh-Oghlani’s profession who was born in Shafa Hospital of Urmia in the old neighborhood of Panjrah near the city bazaar thirty-four years before his arrest in July.

Haniyeh, Hamed’s younger sister, says her brother loved physics. In elementary school, he went to Azadegan school, middle school to Safaei and high school to Chamran. He received his bachelor’s degree in Urmia and then went to Beheshti University in Tehran for his master’s. Once when he was at Chamran, he participated in the Physics Olympiad as well and loved Stephen Hawking.

She describes her brother Hamed as a “shy” boy: “He loved children very much. He had received Red Crescent training and knew nursing. Hamed took responsibility for a child who was in the foster system despite the fact that he was in financial difficulties and for this reason he was forced to drop out of school and in 2016 went to work in Turkey for a while.

Reading books was and is a necessity for Hamed and that is why we brought books to him in prison. It’s been three months since we took books to him, and the prison authorities have not yet delivered the books to him, as if they were explosives: “A Fraction of the Whole” by Steve Toltz, “The Gambler” by Dostoevsky – Hamed had devoured “Animal Farm” of George Orwell that had memorized it. He followed the researches and discussions presented by Mr. “Mohammad Fazeli”, a sociologist and lecturer at Beheshti University. Hamed was not indifferent to society and the fate and problems of human beings and felt responsible:
Speaking about Ali Younesi, an elite student in IR prison under fabricated charges, Hamed tweeted: “Don’t be indifferent. Tomorrow is our turn.”

Loved hiking. He expressed his opinion on social media. For this very reason, his cell phone was confiscated during his arrest (which was more like kidnapping than legal detention with a court order).

In the early days, Hamed was interrogated in solitary confinement. He did not have a lawyer. He had epilepsy.
Hamed suffers from epilepsy.

During the first days of interrogations, interrogators prevented delivery of medicines provided to him by his family during the so-called “trial” phase. In the same days, they forced him to confess against himself by threatening and torturing Hamed. When they threatened his mother with murder, Hamed accepted the baseless accusation of “insulting the Supreme Leader” so that his mother and Haniyeh would not be harmed, an insult that was, in his view, a “criticism” rather than an insult. Hamed Ghareh-Oghlani has not harm anyone or anything, nor has he been a member of a political party, group or organization.

However, on Thursday, December 3, 2020, Branch 2 of the Urmia Revolutionary Court sentenced Hamed Ghareh-Oghlani to death on charges of moharebeh through membership in the “People’s Mojahedin of Iran Organization”, known as MEK. Branch 3 of the same court also sentenced him to 13 years and 3 months in prison in another part of the same case on charges of participating in military courses and attacking Basij bases, propaganda against the regime, blasphemy, and insulting the “Supreme Leader.”

Yousef Moyezi Behnamoun, the attorney that has been involved in this case since September, not only did not take any action to refute the false accusations in the case, even refused to give a copy of the indictment to Hamed’s family, arguing that they will publicize the case, and he can’t let that happen. Instead, he asked his family to pay 300 million tomans in cash and said, “Give me 300 tomans, I will release Hamed.” For this reason, on Wednesday, Hamed signed his dismissal letter of this “dealer.”

Haniyeh says that not only them but Hamed himself has not seen the indictment. He was told: “Sign it, it is the indictment,” he replied: “Very well, I will sign. But let me read it.” They snatched the papers from him: “No! Just fingerprint it and let it go.” Hamed himself does not know the details of the case and charges against him.

Translation of this article by Sahar.

Arezou Saaberi
Arezou Saaberi
There comes a time in life when you have to choose whether to turn the page or to close the book!