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Court of appeals confirmed the sentence of Rasoul Bodaghi

Status: 
Sentenced to Prison
About the situation

On 1 June 2022, Branch 36 of the court of appeal confirmed the sentence of Rasoul Bodaghi, of four years in prison on the charge of “gathering and colluding with the intention of disturbing national security” and one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda activities against the state.” The sentence was first issued on 12 April 2022 by Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court According to the initial verdict, the human rights defender has also been sentenced to a one year travel ban, a two year ban on residing in Tehran and its neighbouring provinces, and a two year ban on membership in political parties and social groups.

On 16 April 2022, the lawyer of Rasoul Bodaghi announced that the human rights defender has been sentenced by Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court to four years in prison on the charge of “gathering and collusion with the intention of disturbing the national security” and one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda activities against the state.” The human rights defender has been sentenced to a one year travel ban, a two year ban on residing in Tehran and its neighbouring provinces, and a two year ban on membership in political parties and social groups.

About Rasoul Bodaghi

Rasoul Bodaghi is a member of the board of directors of the Iran’s Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA), Islamshahr branch, and the inspector of the association in the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations. The human rights defender had previously spent seven years in prison for his activities in organizing teachers’ protests and defending their rights.

7 June 2022
Court of appeals confirmed the sentence of Rasoul Bodaghi

On 1 June 2022, Branch 36 of the court of appeal confirmed the sentence of Rasoul Bodaghi, of four years in prison on the charge of “gathering and colluding with the intention of disturbing national security” and one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda activities against the state.” The sentence was first issued on 12 April 2022 by Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court. According to the initial verdict, the human rights defender has also been sentenced to a one year travel ban, a two year ban on residing in Tehran and its neighbouring provinces, and a two year ban on membership in political parties and social groups. The four year prison sentence is the most severe single sentence available under Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code.

19 April 2022
Human rights defender Rasoul Bodaghi sentenced

On 16 April 2022, the lawyer of Rasoul Bodaghi announced that the human rights defender has been sentenced by Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court to four years in prison on the charge of “gathering and collusion with the intention of disturbing the national security” and one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda activities against the state.” The human rights defender has been sentenced to a one year travel ban, a two year ban on residing in Tehran and its neighbouring provinces, and a two year ban on membership in political parties and social groups.

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Rasoul Bodaghi is a member of the board of directors of the Iran’s Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA), Islamshahr branch, and the inspector of the association in the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations. The human rights defender had previously spent seven years in prison for his activities in organizing teachers’ protests and defending their rights.

On 16 April 2022, the lawyer of Rasoul Bodaghi announced that the human rights defender has been sentenced by Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court to four years in prison on the charge of “gathering and collusion with the intention of disturbing the national security” and one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda activities against the state.” The human rights defender has also been sentenced to a one year travel ban, a two year ban on residing in Tehran and its neighbouring provinces, and a two year ban on membership in political parties and social groups. This sentence was issued on 12 April 2022, and was handed to the human rights defender’s lawyer on 16 April 2022. According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the most severe single sentence, i.e., a four year prison sentence, will be applicable to the human rights defender. The evidence for the charges given in the court verdict include the human rights defender’s media interviews, communications with journalists from “hostile” media, participation in protests with livelihood demands, and participation in teachers’ protests organised by ITTA. Rasoul Bodaghi’s lawyer has stated that they are going to appeal the court’s sentence.

On 11 December 2021, the house of human rights defender Rasoul Bodaghi was raided by security officers in Tehran, during which he was physically assaulted and arrested. During the arrest, security officers confiscated his and his wife’s communication devices. The human rights defender was also denied the right to wear appropriate clothing.  He was held in Evin 209 Ward, until 21 December 2021, when he was released on bail from Evin prison and the only court session was held on 4 April 2022.

The arrest of the human rights defender occurred in the context of nationwide peaceful protests by teachers, starting on 11 December 2021. The main demands of this protest were a proper classification of teachers, the harmonization of retirees’ pensions, and other educational justice requests. Since the beginning of the new school year in September, teachers have organised several protests and rallies across Iran.

This is not the first time Rasoul Bodaghi has been persecuted for defending teachers’ rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association in Iran. He was arrested on 2 September 2009, and sentenced on 4 August 2010 to six years in prison. He was also banned from social activities for five years by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court under the charges of “assembly with the intent to disrupt national security” and “propaganda against the state.” In September 2015, at the end of his jail sentence, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Rasoul Bodaghi to a further three years in jail under the charge of “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the supreme leader”. On 28 April 2016, the human rights defender was released from Evin prison.

Front Line Defenders is seriously concerned by the sentencing of Rasoul Bodaghi, and believes that he is being targeted as a result of his legitimate and peaceful human rights work in defence of teachers’ rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association in Iran.