Political Prisoner Manoochehr Bakhtiari Faces Extended Incarceration and Corporal Punishment

Political Prisoner Manoochehr Bakhtiari Faces Extended Incarceration and Corporal Punishment

Manoochehr Bakhtiari, a political prisoner held in Qazvin Prison, has recently been handed an additional 18-year prison term and 74 lashes as part of a legal case initiated against him while in prison.

Presiding over Branch 1 of the Karaj Revolutionary Court, Judge Seyyed Mousavi Asef-Al-Hosseini sentenced Bakhtiari to ten years for “assembly and collusion to act against national security, and forming and running groups on the Internet to disturb national security.” Additionally, he received five years for “collaboration with anti-regime groups,” two years for “propaganda against the regime and disturbing public opinions,” and one year along with 74 lashes for “disseminating false information.”

Bakhtiari conveyed this latest sentence to his family in a phone call on January 9, as reported by his wife, Sara Abbasi.

On November 1, 2023, Bakhtiari was also handed an additional six-month prison term for “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran.”

Currently serving a three-year, six-month sentence in Qazvin Prison, Bakhtiari’s wife has raised concerns about his health, citing multiple ailments, and alleges that he is being denied access to medical treatment and furlough. She explained, “He endured a toothache for four months with infections spreading to his ears and eyes. Prison officials delayed his dispatch to a dentist every day until he had to extract his upper row teeth to alleviate the pain.”

Bakhtiari’s legal troubles began on April 29, 2021, when security forces forcibly arrested him at his residence in Tehran. Subsequently, the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to three years and six months in prison, along with a two-year, six-month exile and a two-year travel ban. Bakhtiari began serving this sentence in July 2021.

In a tragic and interconnected series of events, Bakhtiari’s son, Pouya, at the age of 27, was fatally shot by regime forces during the 2019 protests, also known as the Aban Protests, in Karaj. According to his sister and mother, Pouya succumbed to his injuries in the hospital after being shot in the head during the second day of the protest’s eruption.

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