Last Update

May 23, 2020

Organisation

Unknown

Gender

Female

Ethnic Group

Unknown

Religoius Group

Yarsani

Province

Mazandaran

Occupation

Social Media Activist

Sentence

Six years’ imprisonment, 36 months of which is enforceable

Sentence Date

March 18, 2020

Status

In prison

Institution investigating

IRGC Intelligence

Career

Writer, researcher and translator

Charges

Acting against National Security
Disturbing public opinion
Propaganda against the regime

Mojgan Kavousi In prison

Mojgan Kavousi is a researcher and translator from Kurdistan. She was arrested during nationwide protests in November 2019 and was sentenced to at least six years in prison on several charges, including “propaganda against the state.” Kavousi was also charged with “inciting people to disturb the order and security of the country” due to a post she published on her personal Instagram account captioned with the three-word sentence “Silence is Betrayal.”

Kavousi was arrested on November 18, 2019, when agents from the Islamic Republic Guards Corps (IRGC) Intelligence Protection Organization raided her father's home in Nowshahr. She was transferred to the IRGC Intelligence Organization detention center in Sari. At the end of the investigation phase of her case, she was formally charged on December 7 and transferred to Nowshahr Prison.

Kavousi was released from prison on a bail of 100 million tomans on December 19, 2019, until the end of the court proceedings against her.

On December 24, 2019, Kavousi was sentenced by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Courts of Nowshahr to six months in prison on the charge of “propaganda activity against the state,” 33 months imprisonment on the charge of “membership of groups opposed to the Islamic Republic of Iran” and 30 months imprisonment on the charge of “inciting people to disturb the order and security of the country.”

Kavousi appealed against the lower court’s verdict, however, on March 16, 2020, Branch 28 of the Court of Appeals of Mazandaran ruled that the length of her convictions should be increased. She was sentenced to seven months and 15 days imprisonment (previously six months) on the charge of “propaganda activity against the state,” 33 months imprisonment (no increase) on the charge of “membership of groups opposed to the Islamic Republic of Iran” and 36 months imprisonment (previously 30 months) on the charge of “inciting people to disturb the order and security of the country.”

According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Codes for Severe Punishments, 36 months of the prison sentence for the charge of “inciting people to disturb the order and security of the country” is enforceable.

On May 19, 2020, Kavousi was arrested and transferred to Nowshahr Prison to begin serving her prison sentence.

A few days prior to her arrest, on May 12, 2020, Kavousi found out that Branch 2 of the Enforcement of Criminal Sentences for the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor's Office of Nowshahr had issued a warrant to enforce the 36 month prison sentence against her without giving her any prior formal notice.

Mustafa NIli, Kavousi’ lawyer, spoke about his client’s arrest in a statement, saying: “My client, Ms. Mojgan Kavousi, is a writer and researcher who has been sentenced to a total of 76 months and 15 days imprisonment, of which 36 months are enforceable based on the principle of the aggregation of sentences. Today she was summoned in order to serve her sentence. However, contrary to Article 500 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the enforcement of Kavousi’s sentence was carried out without the issuance of an arrest warrant.”

In addition to this, according a report by the Human Rights Activists News Agency, the Municipal Intelligence Office of Nowshahr claims that Kavousi had also been banned from leaving the country since September 13, 2019, as part of her sentence for the charge of “propaganda against the state and propaganda against religion.” However, she was never notified of this travel ban.

Kavousi is a believer of Yarsanism, also known as Ahl-e Haqq, a Kurdish religion with approximately three million followers in Iran. Kavousi had previously translated a book, The Anfal and the History of Timur: The Only Surviving Mass Graves of Women and Children Killed During the Anfal, which was published by Tavakoli Publications in Tehran in 2019.

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