Blogger; political activist; member of Hossein Moussavi’s political campaign staff during the presidential elections of 2009.
Moharebeh (waging war against God)
Spreading propaganda against the holy Islamic Republic
“Torture was used to extract the confession used to convict him. His only crime is to have the same surname as Abdolmalek Rigi, the head of the Balochi armed opposition group Jondallah whose execution on 20 June 2010 did not however lead to the blogger’s release,”
Sakhi Rigi, 33, was a software engineering student at a university in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan when he was arrested on June 18, 2009. Prior to his arrest, Rigi worked with Mir Hossein Moussavi’s campaign staff during the disputed 2009 presidential elections. As a member of the Sunni Baluchi minority, he frequently blogged about Iranian politics and how the Baluchis were treated.
The Revolutionary Court in the provincial capital of Zahedan sentenced him to 20 years in prison for cooperating with the illegal Baluchi insurgent group Jondallah (the "Soldiers of God”), which is accused of killing or injuring hundreds of Iranian citizens from 2003 onwards. Abdolmalek Rigi, who was captured and executed in 2010, founded the group. He was sentenced to an additional six months in prison for insulting the Islamic authorities. He was then transferred to the infamous Karun Prison in Ahvaz, the capital of the southwestern province of Khuzestan. This is the harshest sentence a blogger has received in Iran.
“Torture was used to extract the confession used to convict him. His only crime is to have the same surname as Abdolmalek Rigi, the head of the Balochi armed opposition group Jondallah whose execution on 20 June 2010 did not however lead to the blogger’s release,” wrote Reporters without Borders. The organization went on to call him “a victim of unjust Iranian courts.”
According to Peyman Roshanzamir, a blogger who was detained at Karun Prison, Rigi “was sentenced to 20 years in prison only because he copied news from other sites including the BBC and Radio Farda,” a network funded by the U.S. Congress based in Prague, Czech Republic. Under duress, he was forced to confess to having received news from a nonexistent foreign source and that his blog was the first to publish it. This confession was the basis for his court verdict later on. Sakhi Rigi is currently serving his sentence in Ahvaz.
This is part of IranWire’s series Crime: Journalism, a portfolio on the legal and political persecution of Iranian journalists and bloggers, published in both Persian and English.Please [email protected] comments, updates or further information about cases.