Story By: James King, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A British-Iranian academic who wrote reports on controversial religious practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage in Iran has been jailed for nine years for what an Iranian court described as “subversive” research.
Iranian officials claimed that Kameel Ahmady was a lackey working for foreign bodies that wanted to undermine the Islamic government in Iran, and they also ordered him to pay GBP 545,000 which they claim he was paid for his “subversive” work.
Iranian news agency Tasnim said the academic was accused of acquiring banned material from his partners to carry out his research and that the sentence was passed yesterday (Sunday).
The reports he produced had been sent to the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Iran.
Mr Ahmady, who is an ethnic Kurd, was arrested over his research into female genital mutilation and child marriage in August of last year.
He was later released and wrote a message to his UK supporters on Twitter saying: “In autumn 2019, contrary to all legal structures and hope of fair judgment, I was subjected to 100 days of detention and extrajudicial interrogation without access to a lawyer.”
Government officials were not quoted in local reports and British officials told Newsflash they did not receive a reply from the Iranian government as to the status of Mr Ahmady, who is married to Shafaq Rahmani.
The jailed man’s lawyer Amir Raesian said his client had received a prison term for “collaborating with a hostile government”, however, he said the sentence was eight years, one year less than the local news agency reported.
The lawyer added that they planned to appeal the decision and were hopeful of releasing him soon as there were fears for his health because of COVID-19 outbreaks inside Tehran’s Evin Prison.
Human rights organisations and his wife said the man’s work had previously been approved by the government, but, was then suddenly arrested by the Iranian authorities to be used as a pawn in order to win concessions from the UK.
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