Last Update

June 23, 2020

Organisation

Unknown

Gender

Male

Ethnic Group

Unknown

Religoius Group

Muslim

Province

Tehran

Occupation

Journalist

Sentence

23 years and nine months imprisonment - 11 years enforceable

Sentence Date

Oct. 13, 2019

Status

In prison

Institution investigating

IRGC Intelligence

Career

Satirist

Charges

Collaboration with hostile governments
Insulting Iranian officials
Insulting the sacred
Propaganda against the regime

Date of Birth

20/9/1992

Kiumars Marzban In prison

On August 26, 2018, Kiumars Marzban, a 26-year-old satirist, was arrested by agents of the Intelligence Protection Organization of the Revolutionary Guards after returning to Iran from a period abroad. The following year he was sentenced to 23 years and nine months in prison. The sentence was later reduced to six years.

A source close to Marzan, who spoke to the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran shortly after the arrest, said: “Kiumars is a lover of writing and over the past few years, although he is very young, he has grown greatly in this field. He has no political affiliation to individuals or political groups and his only concern was writing and literary activities. It is shocking that Kiumars was arrested.”

Marzban was subjected to a trial that took place over two court hearings in the 15th branch of the Revolutionary Court before Judge Abolghasem Salavati. The first court session took place on March 4, 2019 and the second session took place in mid-July 2019.

In late August 2019, Mohammad-Hossein Aqasi, Marzban’s lawyer, released a statement saying that Marzban had been sentenced to a total of 23 years and nine months imprisonment.

Marzban’s sentence was for allegedly “collaborating with the hostile American state” (11 years), “blasphemy” (seven years, six months years), “libel against the Islamic leadership (three years), “propaganda against the state” (one year, six months), and “libel against officials” (nine months). He was also sentenced to a two-year ban on leaving the country, using social media or undertaking any other media activity.

Marzban’s lawyer filed for an appeal – requesting also that he and his client be allowed to appear in court at the appeal so as to present a final defence. But the appeals court heard the case without Marzban or his lawyer present and the ruling was upheld.

Aqasi, Marzban’s lawyer, told Journalism Is Not A Crime that his client did not deserve to receive such a ruling because the crimes of which he was accused were not consistent with reality.

“My client is completely undeserving of such a conviction,” Aqasi said. “The evidence that he collaborated with the hostile American state has no basis in reality. Likewise, the other accusation of blasphemy that was introduced in relation to his writings has no grounding in reality or with the content of his writing. My client was completely undeserving of such a judgement.”

Kiumars Marzban is currently imprisoned in Section 7, Hall 12 of Evin Prison, where most prisoners accused of collaborating with “hostile” powers or who hold dual citizenship are held. Other prisoners jailed in the section include Ahmad Reza Jalali, Massoud Mosheb, Anoush Ashouri and Kamran Ghaderi.

In late November 2019, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, requested that head of the judiciary Ibrahim Raesi pardon a number of journalists and artists including Pegah Ahangarani, Saba Azarpik, Pouria Alemi, Kiumars Marzban, Hossein Jannati and Hossein Ghadiani.

Prior to the pardon, in accordance with Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, Kiumars Marzban was required to serve the majority of his 11 year imprisonment for the alleged crime of collaborating with the United States. But after he was pardoned, Marzan’s lawyer Mohammad-Hossein Aqasi said that Marzban would be required to serve only six years of the full 11-year sentence.

 

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