Saturday, 18 July 2015
02 June 2020
A twelve year sentence for a civil rights activist and the silence of medias

“Navid Khanjani, an insider or an outsider?”

2011 February 02

Ardavan Roozbeh /Radio Koocheh

ardavan@koochehmail.com

Translated by Avideh Motmaen-Far

“Navid Khanjani”, is a civil rights activist and one of the founders of ”Combat Against Academic Discrimination” group who was arrested following the mass arrests of human rights activists last year on March first in Ispahan in his residence and released on bail two months later.

Khanjani was charged on 29 of December last year, with spreading lies, disconcerting public opinion, and propaganda against the Islamic Republic through news, reports, and interviews with foreign medias, membership in the Central Council of Human Rights Watchers and the foundation of ”Combat Against Academic Discrimination” group.

On Sunday, January 31 of this year, ”Navid Khanjani” was sentenced to fines and 12 years imprisonment, by a decree issued the Islamic Revolutionary Court, Branch 26, headed by Judge Pir Abas.

He is a follower of the Baha’i faith and he has been already denied attendance at the university because of his beliefs. Probably this is also the reason why the so called Green Movement organizations and other medias have shown such a ”reserve” to denounce the heavy sentence this human rights activist is facing.

He is a follower of the Baha’i faith and he has been already denied attendance at the university because of his beliefs. Probably this is also the reason why the so called Green Movement organizations and other medias have shown such a ”reserve” to denounce the heavy sentence this human rights activist is facing

Regarding this warrant, ”Ardavan Roozbeh” had a dialogue with ”Safora Elyasi”, the spokesman of the ”Combat Against Academic Discrimination” group:

”Navid Khanjani”, one of the Iranian human rights activists, has been sentenced to one of the heaviest sentences of imprisonment and fine. Why might such a sentence be issued for a civil rights activist?

They have issued the highest sentence possible to Mr. Khanjani. We are all shocked why such a heavy sentence is issued for him. Because the record of human rights related convictions was broken. Although, this is not yet the maximum penalty for Mr. Khanjani. Because the judge announced that the sentence has been reduced to 12 years because of Islamic compassion and primarily he wanted to sentence him to 18 years.

You know what has been mentioned in his file and with what Mr. Khanjani has been charged?

Assembly and conspiracy against the system (Islamic Republic), founding of the ”Combat Against Academic Discrimination” group, interviews with foreign medias, membership in the Central Council of Human Rights Watchers. However, for propaganda against the system, spreading lies and disconcerting public opinion, they issued another verdict.

So in this situation, He cannot even leave the country, is that right?

Yes. Even after release, it is stated in his file that he will not be allowed to leave the country and he will not be allowed to continue his education at the university neither. It has been clearly stated that he will be denied attendance at the university.

Does everyone who have any activity in this field face such restrictions?

Other human rights activists have been facing such sentences, but the 12-year sentence of Mr. Khanjani  is enormous compared to those who are sentenced to four, five, six and even seven years. We expect leaders of Green movement to react to Mr. Khanjani’s conviction because if they stay silent now, the question of ”insider and outsider” will be brought up, because of religious differences, and they cause the movement to fail right now. We are fighting against discriminations. Mr. Khanjani always believed that we need to fight against all kind of discrimination, either ethnic, national, religious, academic or human rights related. ”Insider or outsider” makes no sense.

All human rights activists and I expect a serious reaction to this matter. Because for a 25 year old person, a 12 year sentence is going to really ruin his life.

The reason for talking about ”insiders and outsiders” is Mr. Khanjani’s religious differences with other activists. He never had any issue with this and never mentioned anything about it. When he founded the ”Combat Against Academic Discrimination” group, he said ”discrimination”, not academic segregation and discrimination against Baha’is but any segregation and discrimination against anyone.

Very often when the activists of green movement want to defend someone, they say that he was not from us or was not an ”insider”, his ethnicity or religion is different from us. Khanjani family have got close to thirty two-year sentence in the past year. Lack of reaction and silence of heads of the Green movement to this matter is disturbing because this could deprive us from the support of a big part of the society.

Farsi

«نوشته فوق می تواند نظر نویسنده باشد و الزامن نظر رادیو کوچه نیست»

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