Filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, his brother Mehdi Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, both musicians, were summoned on 26 May to report to the Office of the Prosecutor in Tehran’s Evin prison within five days to start serving their prison sentences. All three were sentenced, following a grossly unfair trial, to six years’ imprisonment and fined 200 million rials (about US$6,625) on charges related to their artistic work. In February 2016, the men were told that a Court of Appeal in Tehran had ruled that they must serve three years of their six-year prison sentences. The court suspended the rest of the sentence for a period of five years, conditional on their “good behaviour”.
Hossein Rajabian, Mehdi Rajabian and Yousef Emadi had been convicted of “insulting Islamic sanctities”, “spreading propaganda against the system” and “illegal audio-visual activities”, after a three-minute trial on 26 April 2015 before Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The charges had arisen from their artistic work, including Hossein Rajabian’s feature film dealing with women’s right to divorce in Iran and Mehdi Rajabian and Yousef Emadi’s distribution of unlicensed music by Iranian singers from outside the country, some of whose lyrics and messages are political or cover taboo subjects. The men have been out on bail since December 2013. Before that, they were held for two months in solitary confinement, where they have said they were subjected to beatings and electric shocks to make video “confessions”. Their “confessions” were used as evidence against them to secure their convictions even though they told the judge that they were obtained through torture and other ill-treatment. They have had no access to a lawyer at any stage of their arrest, detention, trial or appeal.
The Urgent Action Update is available on the Amnesty International website at the following link: https://www.amnesty.org/en/