On Monday, April 25, 2022, the Iranian regime’s judiciary sentenced two elite students, Ali Younesi and Amir-Hossein Moradi, to 16 years in prison. The notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) detained them on April 10, 2020.
The two elites are in jail only because they refused to make forced confessions.
— Iran News Update (@IranNewsUpdate1) April 11, 2022
The Younesi later revealed that around 12 intelligence officers and members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) suddenly raided his parent’s home and arrested Ali without any warrant. They severely beat Ali.
During the last two years, interrogators applied mental and physical torture against the two elite students in an attempt to force them into making forced confessions. They insisted on their innocence, however, prompting the authorities to intensify pressures to break them.
Younesi and Moradi were held incommunicado for 600 days. The two spent hundreds of days in solitary confinement. Furthermore, Younesi contracted coronavirus in jail and was deprived of necessary medical care. His eyesight was severely harmed during interrogations.
Why Did Authorities Raise Security Charges Against Elite Students?
The latest session of the “trial” was held at the Revolutionary Court—Branch 29 on April 17. Judiciary spokesperson Gholam-Hossein Esmaili had levied security charges against Younesi and Moradi on May 5, 2020. However, the students rejected all allegations and refused to make televised confessions.
By issuing the lengthy prison terms the mullahs are trying to intimidate and frighten the public, particularly the younger generation.
On the other hand, the regime sought to dissuade the youths from joining the ranks of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) by issuing a death sentence or long-term prison terms for MEK activists. At the time, many people were concerned about the elite students’ lives and health in view of the regime’s notorious background of disappearing and murdering prisoners by claiming that they had committed suicide. On May 3, 2020, Reza Younesi, Ali’s elder brother, expressed his concerns about Ali’s life.
“24 days passed,” Reza Younesi tweeted. “Yesterday and today, my father went to the Evin Prison. However, [authorities] did not allow him to enter. It is unclear what [authorities] want, so they do not allow my brother even to make a call to the family, ensuring us that he is healthy. Dear Ali, we hope that they have not yet killed you by ‘suicide.’”
This was not the whole story. On September 5, 2020, Aida Younesi, Ali’s sister, revealed that the judiciary officials had told Ali, “Admit to charges, and we will commute your death sentence to life imprisonment.”
In another futile attempt, the judiciary published a fake video on December 9, 2021, purporting that the two elite students had confessed to their “crimes.” But even the state-backed media challenged the judiciary’s claims and rejected the footage as evidence. Interestingly, the video clip did not show the faces of the students, which totally discredited the regime’s desperate scheme.
Fearing widespread backlash, the regime ultimately sentenced the two to 16 years in prison, despite earlier threats to sentence them to death.