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Amnesty Calls for Release of Iranian Students

Political prisoners Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi

Amnesty International called on Saturday for Iran to immediately release political prisoners and elite students Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi, who have been held on national security offences, “including gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security and spreading propaganda against the system”, for a year.

The human rights group tweeted: “For one year [Younesi and Moradi] have been held without trial in section 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison, under the control of the ministry of intelligence, and have been denied access to an independent lawyer of their own choosing,”

Amnesty explained that political prisoners are often housed with violent offenders, putting them at risk, and are forced to sleep on the floor.

This does not bode well for their health either, as prisoners are denied basic sanitary items, even during a pandemic, which led to Younesi contracting the coronavirus in prison in June 2020,  according to his brother. Many other prisoners, particularly political prisoners have become sick and died because of the pandemic.

The arrests

Younesi and Moradi, both medal winners at the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics, disappeared on April 10, 2020, and turned up 26 days later in a regime jail because the judiciary admitted arresting them for links to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Of course, the charges against them were trumped-up, with the pair being accused of “diversionary actions” and “attempting to carry out sabotage operations”, with Judiciary Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Esmaili even saying that explosive devices were found in the pair’s homes.

The calls for action

Maryam Rajavi, the President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has repeatedly called on the UN Secretary-General and High Commissioner for Human Rights to intervene to save Younesi and Moradi’s lives by getting them released.

Of course, she was far from the only one. Here is a condensed list of all the associations, parliament members, and public figures who have urged the regime to release the students:

  • Nobel laureates
  • members of the European Parliament
  • Amnesty International
  • parliamentary committees in the UK, Italy, Australia, Canada, and Belgium
  • the Human Rights Federation of Italy
  • the Hands off Cain NGO from Italy
  • the Committee of Muslims in France, Irish MPs
  • the International Committee in Search of Justice
  • the committee of MPs from Romania
  • MPs, and dignitaries from Arab countries
  • the Committee of French
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