Date of Publish: ۲۸ دی ۱۳۸۸

Trial of five Ashura Day detainees begins in Tehran

The first court proceeding for five of the Ashura Day detainees took place today in Tehran Revolutionary Court.

The five detainees are accused of “moharebeh” (armed attack) and this charge carries the death penalty.

According to the court, the names of the defendants cannot be publicized. In the indictment, Tehran Prosecutor’s Office accuses Western countries and Israel of interfering in Iran’s internal affairs, while Seculars, Anti-Revolutionaries and members of People’s Mojahedin as well as Baha’ism are claimed to have been present in the Ashura Day unrest in an “organized” form.

According to this indictment, the arrested Baha’is are accused of being in direct communication with Israel and following their orders to create the “sedition” of Ashura day.

The indictment adds that monarchists, Baha’is, and members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization, “while insulting sanctities by jubilation, whistling and applause, beat and insulted the mourners of Imam Hosein and the security forces and committed serious crimes such as moharabeh and assembly against the country’s security.”

On Ashura Day of this year on December 27, which is a customary day of mourning for Shiites who commemorate the death of their Third Imam, Hosein, Iran’s election protesters had planned another street demonstration to express their continued disagreement with the government. The events became confrontational with the interference of police and forces in plain clothes and led to the death of at least seven people.

The indictment maintains that some of the People’s Mojahedin Organization members have confessed that they were trained by European countries “for assassination and rioting by creating insecurity, disturbances and illegal demonstrations and gatherings.”

The state claims these people have confessed to “espionage and gathering information, as well as active participation in all illegal and anti-Revolutionary gatherings.”

The indictment alleges that the confessions of the members of the People’s Mojahedin reveals that since the June 12 presidential elections, “they have been involved in organized operations such as bombings and assassinations with an aim to blame the acts on the government.”

The first defendant took the stand after the reading of the indictment and claimed that he has provided the People’s Mojahedin with “news and images of the disturbances.” He added that he is an addict, that his brother spent eight years in a People’s Mojahedin cell group and that two of his uncles were executed for having ties with terrorist groups.

He asked for the judge’s clemency adding: “I am an addict and an addict cannot be political.”

He also claimed that he took film from the shooting scene of Neda Agha-Soltan, the woman who was shot to death in the street demonstrations in Tehran, and added that he provided the People’s Mojahedin Organization with the film.

The second defendant testified he participated in the Ashura Day events to collect special films and photos for the People’s Mojahedin Organization and transmitted the material to them.

The Prosecutor’s Office introduced this individual as a university student. He claimed that he was in contact with the PMO through email and prepared a film about the Mourning Mothers' gathering in Tehran’s Laleh Park and delivered it to the Organization.