Azerbaijani Turk Activist Roozbeh Piri Sentenced to Six Years In Prison

Recently, Branch 3 of Tabriz’s Revolutionary Court sentenced Azerbaijani Turk activist Roozbeh Piri to six years in prison. If upheld on appeal, the severest punishment of 5 years from this sentence is enforceable as dictated by Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the court, headed by Judge Fath-Nejad, sentenced to one year in prison on the charge of propaganda against the regime and five years on the charge of “membership in anti-regime political groups”.

On September 9, security forces arrested him in Tabriz City. After holding him in detention, they transferred him to Tabriz Prison. On September 29, he was released on bail.

Piri had previously been arrested and convicted for peaceful activities. He was arrested during the nationwide protests in Tabriz in November 2019 and sentenced by the court of appeals to 91 days in prison. Piri was released from Tabriz Prison in July 2020 after serving his sentence.

Later, he was charged with “spreading lies” on the Internet and sentenced to pay a fine of 5 million tomans (1190 USD) by Branch 103 of Tabriz’s Criminal Court. This sentence was upheld on appeal. Reportedly, the conviction was in retaliation for revealing his brother’s harassment and torture by intelligence agents.

Piri is the editor of Tabriz Magazine and the founder of Navid Etedal, an independent student organization at Tabriz Azad University.