Human Rights House of Iran – Ahmad Reza Ahmadpour who was transferred to Ahvaz prison last week, was verbally notified of the increase in his prison sentence.
Seyed Ahmadpour who is a dissident cleric, blogger for Pezhak-e Khamoush and member of the Qom Hezbeh Mosharkat (Participation Front) was arrested on July 19, 1010 after which he spent almost a year behind bars in temporary detention. Last week when he was transferred to Ahvaz prison he was told his prison sentence has been increased from 3 years to 5 years.
According to Human Rights House of Iran the appellate court had previously upheld a 3-year prison sentence for this cleric; 2 years for the charge of “publishing lies with the intent of disturbing public opinion” and one year for “propaganda against the regime.” A request was given to the court to give credit for the time served while the cleric was held in temporary detention, with consideration to the fact that he had already spent 20 months behind bars and was eligible for parole.
Ahmadpour is a war veteran [of the Iran-Iraq war] who suffers from physical disabilities from exposure to chemical weapons during the war and per doctor’s orders it is imperative that Seyed Ahmadpour have access to around the clock medical supervision.
Per a document from the Qom special court for the clergy, it was verbally announced to Ahamdpour that not only was his request for release denied, 2 years were added to his prison sentence for the additional charge against him of “acting against national security” and he must now spend 5 years behind bars.
Ahmadpour who was summoned to court on Tuesday objected to the sentencing and asked that the added charge of acting against national security be dropped considering it was not part of the verdict that the appellate court had previously handed down. But he was told that even though they understood his point, the court’s hands were tied and there was nothing they could do.
The new verdict that was announced verbally is in all likelihood due to the publication of a critical letter Ahmadpour wrote to the leadership of the country. This cleric who strongly denies all previous and present charges against him and is suffering from war related ailments, is now behind bars serving his second prison term.
Human Rights House of Iran