Telegram Admin Faces 11 More Years Behind Bars

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Tehran Revolutionary Court Branch 15 ruled October 3rd to sentence Telegram channel administrator and current prisoner Hamidreza Amini to eleven more years in prison. Judge Salavati presided over the hearing, and Amini’s lawyer was present.

Amini has been detained since December of last year on charges of “disseminating lies”, “blasphemy” and “insulting high-ranking officials of the Islamic Republic.”

An informed source updated HRANA on Amini’s fate as of yesterday’s trial: five years in prison for charges of “assembly and collusion against national security,” one year in prison for ”propaganda against the regime,” and two years in prison for “insulting the supreme leader.” He was acquitted of “insulting the prophet.”

The “insulting the prophet” charge was previously deliberated in August of this year in Tehran Criminal Court Branch 9, presided by Judge Kashkuli. HRANA previously reported on the court hearing, which tried Amini for both “insulting the prophet” and “blasphemy.” Amini’s lawyer Mohammad Hossein Aghasi correctly predicted at the time that the former charge would be dropped.

Earlier, in June, HRANA reported on the postponement of hearing that had been scheduled to try Amini for “insulting the supreme leader and high-ranking officials” in Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court. The session, which would have been presided by Judge Salvati, was postponed pursuant to Article 48 of Islamic Penal Code, which grants defendants more time to select their attorney.

On May 30th, Amini was ordered to pay a fine of 40 million IRR [approximately $400 USD] by Branch 57 of a new court focused on media crimes. He was charged with “spreading misinformation with intent to disturb the public mind.” His lawyer explained to HRANA that his client was charged pursuant to Article 18 of the Computer Crime Code.

Amini has been detained in Evin Prison since December 2, 2017. It has yet to be determined if his prison sentences could be reduced with the application of Article 134 of the code, which limits defendants’ prison terms to the longest among their multiple sentences.

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