The Iranian regime has sentenced three political activists, a mother and two of her children, to 20 years in prison, according to Iran Human Rights Monitor. 

In a trial at Tehran Revolutionary Court Branch 23, presided over by judge Mohammad Mehdi Shahmirzadi, political prisoner Zahra Safaei, her daughter Parastoo Moini, and her son Mohammad Masoud Moini were given harsh sentences for their activism. 

Safaei was sentenced to five years for “assembly and collusion”, one year for “spreading propaganda against the state”, and two years for “insulting [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei and [regime founder Ruhollah] Khomeini”, to make a total of eight years. Her children were each given six years; five years for “assembly and collusion” and one year for “spreading propaganda against the state”. 

All three have denied the charges. 

Safaei, born in1962, is the daughter of celebrated Tehran Bazaar merchant Hassan Ali Safaei, who was a political prisoner under the Shah and executed by the mullahs in 1981. 

She was arrested by security forces in Tehran last February for supporting the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Parastoo was arrested shortly after and both were taken to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, the Intelligence Ministry’s detention centre. In March, they were moved to Qarchak Prison.

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In June, just after being threatened with death by several inmates hired by the Intelligence Ministry, Safaei was granted temporary release until the end of her trial on a 300 million Toman bail. She was rearrested on July 26, when she asked the Prosecutor’s Office of Evin Prison to review the case, and moved to Qarchak Prison the next day. 

In August, Safaei was attacked by two violent criminals – Zeinab Ghanbarnejad (or Saratani) and Nargess Amir Ali- on the orders of prison warden Mehdi Mohammadi and his deputy Mirzaii. The attack only stopped because other prisoners intervened, 

Safaei told the authorities: “We do not have any security here. We do not feel secure at nights in the room and not even when we intend to go to the bathrooms complex.” 

In September, Parastoo Moini was one of two political prisoners, along with Forough Taghipour, that Mohammadi tried to have attacked with boiling water. 

He’d hired Ghanbarnejad and Amir Ali to carry out the attack and again they were only thwarted by other political prisoners coming to the defence of Moini and Taghipour. Those who came to help were burned instead. 

Iranian law stipulates that prisoners should be separated based on their crime, so that violent offenders are not held with non-violent ones. The regime ignores this to increase pressure on political prisoners.