دوشنبه ۱ آبان ۱۳۹۶ تهران ۱۳:۴۹
COURTS: Tehran Judiciary Retries Aghajari, But on New Charges
Appearing on the first day of his re-trial in a Tehran public court, Islamic activist and history professor Hashem Aghajari rejected new charges against him. A branch of Tehran public courts began re-trying death-row history professor and Islamic activist Hashem Aghajari, who rejected the new charges of "insulting Islamic sanctities, propagating against the ruling Islamic establishment" and "spreading lies for the purpose of inciting public opinion."
A court in Hamedan has twice sentenced Aghajari to death for his speech in June 2002 in a Hamedan mosque about Islamic Protestantism, during which he criticized clerical rule and the Shiite principle of religious emulation. The sentences were both struck down by the Islamic judiciary’s supreme court, each time only after the Supreme Leader intervened.
If convicted on the new charges, Aghajari could get between one to five years in jail. He has already served more than two years behind bars and complained yesterday that he spent 10 months in solitary confinement.
"I'm happy that after two years of psychological pressures for me in jail and psychological torture for my family ... an open trial is organized with reduced charges giving me the chance to defend myself against two years of accumulated cruelty and slander and propaganda even spread by the state-run radio and television network," he said.
Saturday’s trial was reportedly brief, and public; reporters were allowed in court, along Aghajari’s family. Aghajari was accompanied by his lawyer Saleh Nikbakht, who asked the judge for time to study Aghajari’s new charges.