Iranian court jails father of executed protester


Mohammad Mehdi Karami, a protester convicted and executed, speaks during his trial in Karaj, Iran, on Nov 30, 2022. [AP Photo]

Iran's judiciary has taken the extraordinary step of sending Mashallah Karami — the father of executed protester Mohammad Mehdi Karami — to prison on charges of endangering national security and "propaganda against the regime."

Ali Sharifzadeh Ardakani, the lawyer representing Mashallah Karami, announced Saturday that his client has been sentenced to six years in prison by the Islamic Revolutionary Court.

He wrote on the social media platform X, "Mashallah Karami has been sentenced to six years in prison and confiscation of property, which was acquired through public donations, for charges of assembly, collusion, and propaganda against the system."

Ardakani further commented, "Considering that the Islamic Revolutionary Court addressed two additional charges in Criminal Court 2, it lacks the authority to issue a confiscation order. The verdict contains legal shortcomings, and we intend to appeal." He refrained from elaborating further.

On May 21, Ardakani posted on X that Karami faced additional pending charges: "The accusation of fraud is unfounded, and the Criminal Court 2 of Nazarabad is currently reviewing the charges of money laundering and acquiring illicit wealth, with no verdict rendered yet."

Mashallah Karami was arrested on August 22, 2023, in his home in Karaj, Iran, and was taken to a detention center. Authorities seized all his electronic devices and froze his family's bank accounts. There are reports that government forces also destroyed memorabilia, plaques and medals commemorating his son, Mohammad Mehdi Karami.

Mohammad Mehdi Karami was executed on January 7, 2023. He was accused of killing a member of the paramilitary Basij force named Ruhollah Ajamian during the nationwide "Woman, Life, Freedom" protests. Those protests erupted in 2022 following the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the morality police.

Ardakani had positively characterized Mashallah Karami's earlier court session on April 23. He remarked that after eight months of his client's detention, it provided "a good opportunity to defend him" and noted that "the judge listened to what we had to say."

That court session was convened to address two charges against Karami, "propaganda against the regime" and "collusion and gathering against national security."

According to reports, during Karami's detention, his family was repeatedly harassed by the Islamic Republic's security forces.

Human rights organizations have consistently condemned the tactics employed by Iranian intelligence and judicial authorities for exerting pressure on protesters and the families of those who lost their lives during the nationwide protests.

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