By S.A. Aram
Assisted by JB
August 23, 2015
Mohammad Ali Taheri is on hunger strike to protest against his unfair trial
Mohammad Ali Taheri, Iranian scholar, innovationist and spiritual teacher who has been sentenced to death, is on hunger strike since August 13. Although Taheri’s verdict has been handed down to his lawyer, Taheri himself has not seen it yet and has only been informed about it orally. This happened when the court gave a 20-day period to his lawyer to appeal. The question arises as to how can an accused person defend himself without seeing the written verdict or being aware of its contents?
According to his family, the reasons for Taheri’s hunger strike are the following:
- Not receiving a copy of the verdict
- The lack of a fair trial and disregard for his defence.
- Being kept in solitary confinement even after his death sentence.
- The existence of a strong political and security will against his case.
Reports suggest that Mohammad Ali Taheri’s visits have been cut down since he began his hunger strike. This has raised concerns among his family and students about his health and physical condition more than ever before, not to mention that this type of behaviour from the authorities of Iran goes against national and international laws. How can an accused person appeal the death penalty while he does not have access to his lawyer? Doesn’t it mean that Iran’s justice system does not want to listen to the defence of an innocent man and wants to resist the truth and fairness? This behaviour is definitely against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a state party, and violates its prohibition of torture and other ill treatment.