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The Sentence of Mohammad Nourizad

April 17, 2010 Official Letters, Recent Posts 1 Comment
The Sentence of Mohammad Nourizad

Source: Kaleme
Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mohammad Nourizad has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for penning three open letters directed at the Supreme Leader, as well as a letter of criticism that addressed the head of the Judiciary. Currently, he has been illegally detained for 120 days.

The text of the sentence sounds surprisingly primitive. So much so, that one may take it for an article from the hardliner newspaper Keyhan. We have reproduced it below:

Mohammad Nourizad stands accused of taking action against the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as directing insults at the Supreme Leader, the president, the head of the Judiciary, and Mr. Alamolhoda, who conducts Friday prayers in Mashhad. Mr. Alamolhoda has filed a personal complaint and is mentioned in this letter.

In a court of law, the accused has [maintained the validity] of his crimes, believing them to be constructive criticism. The court, based on the fact that insults are not constructive criticism under any regulation nor amid any rules or customs, and the fact that the behavior of the accused bears no resemblance to criticism as well as the fact that the accused has, via the delicacies acquired through his occupation as an artist, insulted the dignity of these people and, in some cases, the whole nation. [1]. Since his favorite candidate has not acquired the people’s trust, the accused has [decided to toss around] insults. More than 400 files contain a collection of interviews and letters that are too embarrassing to even deserve a mention. It is possible that similarly revolting phrases would have seemed less repulsive in a repulsive context, but the way the accused has applied them to [honorable] characters has made them even more so. It is worth mentioning that, considering the age of the accused, the court had expected more moderation. However, take note that when faced with his favorite candidate’s loss, a 58-year-old man [should not] fall prey to excited youthful illusions to such a degree that he fails to control his emotions and publishes an insulting letter in the form of “criticism,” accompanied with such hatred and spite that is even unheard-of in the literature of long-standing enemies [of the establishment].

In the same writings, the accused has introduced himself as the friend and companion of the Leader. But it seems that with a friend like this, who slanders the characters of the greatest government officials, there is even no need for an enemy. [2]

In any case, the court, having reviewed the accusations, finds the accused guilty as charged. And, considering the fact that the accused has not learned from his mistakes, he is sentenced to the following, according to articles 500, 514, 609 and 608:

  1. One year in prison, which includes the time that he has been detained thus far, for distributing propaganda against the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran and desecrating the thirty-year image of the Islamic establishment
  2. Two years in prison for insults directed at the Supreme Leader
  3. 91 days in prison for insults directed at the president
  4. 91 days in prison for insults directed at the head of Judiciary
  5. 50 lashes for insults directed at Ayatollah Alamolhoda, leader of Friday prayers in Mashhad and representative of the people in the Council of Experts

This sentence is eligible for review 20 days after its issue in any court of appeal in the province of Tehran.

— Judge Pirabbasi, Head of Branch 26 of the Court of the Islamic Republic

[1] The fragmented sentence structure is reproduced from the original court letter

[2] From the Persian proverb: with a friend [who is treacherous] like you, I need not worry about my enemies

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