A Revolutionary Court in Tehran handed down prison sentences to three Iranian artists on charges of “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the regime” two years after they were initially arrested.
In early December, 2015, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh sentenced musician Mehdi Rajabian, founder of the alternative music website BargMusic, Yousef Emadi, manager of BargMusic, and Mehdi Rajabian’s brother, Hossein Rajabian, an independent filmmaker and photographer, to five years’ imprisonment for the insult charge and a further one year for propaganda.
Revolutionary Guards arrested the three on October 12, 2013 in the northern city of Sari. They were detained at Evin Prison’s Ward 2A, which is under control of the Guards. Before his arrest, Mehdi Rajabian was in the process of recording a musical history of Iran. Guards searched his studio and confiscated his recordings. His brother Hossein Rajabian was arrested after making his first feature film, which was confiscated, despite the fact that authorities had issued approval for the project.
Emadi and the Rajabian brothers were released on a bail of around $67,000 each after spending two months in solitary confinement. During their time in detention, they were reportedly pressured to confess to their crimes.
The accused were never taken back into custody after the release, though the case was ongoing and heard earlier this week.
They launched an appeal against the decision, which is now making its way through Branch 54 of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Hasan Babaee. Human rights group have repeatedly accused both Babaee and Moghiseh of violating the human rights of Iranian defendants.
The 2013 arrests made international news, leading to more than 400 journalists, musicians and cinema artists to sign a letter calling for their release. Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, cited them in his list of political prisoners at the time.
Read the original article in Persian