Hamid Babai’s Charges Changed and Retrial Rejected

HRANA News Agency – The charges against Hamid Babai, political prisoner in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj were changed in the case whose verdict had recently been issued and approved by the Court of Appeal and according to the new charges, the Supreme Court rejected his retrial request. Mr. Babai is suffering from eardrum, chronic and progressive infection and his medical furlough request is being rejected by the Ministry of Intelligent.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), although Hamid Babai had been sentenced to 6 years imprisonment and 4 years suspended imprisonment on charges of “espionage and contact with enemy states” and the sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeal but the charges against him have been changed to “encouraging people to commit a crime and crimes against internal and external security” in the Supreme Court and his retrial request was rejected.

A close source to Babai family announced the news and confirmed that Hamid Babai had only a case on charge of “collaborating with foreign countries” and explained to the HRANA’s reporter: “Since 2015, Hamid and his family have repeatedly called for a retrial and each time the process has been disrupted by security and judicial authorities. A few weeks ago Hamid’s case was finally registered in the Supreme Court, but not with the number that had already been given to his family. The case was investigated and the verdict was issued. A number was given to the family to see the result online. But the charge had been changed in the website. They went to the court and the court responded: ‘that is the case.’”

The source went on about his health condition: “Hamid suffers from eardrum disease, chronic and progressive infection. He was sent to the hospital in a very chaotic way. Sometimes the hospital accepts him and sometimes they do not. After more than three years he is still being deprived of furlough and parole.”

Hamin Babai, scholarship student at a university in Belgium was arrested on August 13, 2013, by the intelligence service, when he returned to Iran for a family visit. In a short trial session, judge Salavati sentenced him to 4 conditional years and 6 definite years in prison on charge of espionage in favor of conflicting governments. This sentence was confirmed in the appeal court.

He was immediately transferred to the solitary confinement in ward 240 of Evin prison, and after 20 days was transferred to ward 209 and finally after 35 days in solitary confinement to ward 350 of Evin.

During mass transfer of prisoners of ward 350, he was sent to ward 7 and then 8. After protesting to the bad condition of the prison, he was transferred to Rajaei Shahr prison in February 2014. Very recently he has been transferred to hall number 12 where political prisoners are being kept in.

Hamid Babai was born in 1983 in Takab in West Azerbaijan province and is married. He is graduated from Sharif University of Technology in the major of mathematics. After his bachelor he started his master degree in Science and Technology University in the major of industrial engineering and finished it with GPA 18, and graduated with distinction in 2009.

According to the close sources to Hamid Babai, he did not have any political activities during the time he spent abroad and he has been arrested for not cooperating with the intelligence service and neglecting their threatening requests.

This imprisoned student has been deprived of having a lawyer. He has stated that the assigned lawyer not only did not defend him but also worked as the prosecutor.

His imprisonment has caused a massive protest of students and human rights activists in Belgium. Amnesty International, students at Free University of Brussels and Iranians living in Belgium, during a protest in front of the Iranian embassy demanded his freedom.

Previously two universities in Belgium published an announcement and demanded his retrial and imminent freedom.

Amnesty International of Belgium issued a statement expressing concerns about the health of Hamid Babai and said that the political prisoner needed urgent medical care.

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