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Sunday 22 April 2012

News of Imminent Execution Delivered to Hamid Ghassemi

[h2 Hamid Ghassemi-Shall’s sister told Rooz Online’s Fereshteh Ghazi the notice that the death sentence was sent to the Execution of Sentences Circuit Office was delivered to Hamid Ghassemi-Shall while his mother and sister were at the prison paying him a visit .
Hamid’s sister Parvin Ghassemi-Shall, who accompanied her mother in the visit, said to Fereshteh Ghazi, “The execution was stayed two years ago on the order of Mr. Larijani. We were hopeful that Hamid would be released. However, since yesterday when the notice was issued, we have been extremely worried about whether Hamid will live to see another day. Yesterday’s visit was irregular. Prison visits are granted on Mondays to political prisoners held in ward 350 (the general ward), but yesterday they suddenly called us and told us to come and visit him. While we were there, they delivered the execution notice" .
Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, who has been in prison since June 14, 2008, was sentenced to death on the charges of espionage and ties to the MEK by branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court. The sentence has been upheld and confirmed by Iran’s Supreme Court. The request for clemency was rejected by the Pardon and Clemency Board .
Mr. Ghassemi-Shall’s sister told Rooz Online that her brother had no political activities, and there is no evidence in his file pointing to or proving his guilt .
She had told Rooz before that the only evidence presented to the court was an e-mail which was never sent by Mr. Ghassemi-Shall .
Parvin Ghassemi-Shall said: “There is no evidence. There is an A4 sheet of paper which is used as evidence they claim is the copy of an e-mail Hamid sent Alborz (his brother) requesting information and intelligence. However, the e-mail address appearing on the page does not belong to my brother. We requested many times for an expert to analyze the case but they have refused. My brothers asked them repeatedly to inquire from the Yahoo! server to see whether such an e-mail address ever existed at all. [The authorities] claim that they had access to [Hamid's and Alborz's] e-mails all along and were able to see their e-mails. If that is really the case, then why is there only this one A4 sheet of paper. There is no other evidence, no phone, no e-mail, nothing else" .
She added that they presented the copy of this A4 sheet of paper to two judicial experts who investigated the matter and informed them that there is no such address within the Yahoo! server. She called the evidence “so ridiculous that even a child who has just started to work with computers would realize it is fabricated.” However, she said, “The judge offered strange interpretations. Since there was the word “reminder” in the subject of the e-mail, the judge argued that there was a precedent and a pattern to the crime. And, because the e-mail ended with the phrase “in the hopes of victory”, the judge argued that a certain objective was being followed. Such arguments became the evidence of a crime for which they issued a death sentence for. That is why when I try to explain the situation to Hamid’s Canadian wife, she cannot understand it or believe it. She is right– such things only happen in our country" .
Parvin explains that Hamid, who is a Canadian citizen, visited Iran in May 2008 on an annual trip to see his family. “When my other brother Alborz was arrested, Hamid followed up. He would go to the Military Prosecutions office everyday. However, in June, they arrested him as well and claimed that Alborz was providing information and intelligence to the MEK through Hamid. Subsequently, they sentenced both my brothers to death" .
Alborz Ghassemi-Shall died while he was being held in Evin prison. Parvin told Rooz Online: “Alborz was a Naval Force Captain, an instructor for Special Unit forces. He had been retired three years prior to his arrest and had applied for a passport. He was contacted by the military’s intelligence to go and get his passport, but he never returned .
She added: “In January 2010, they informed us that Alborz died in prison of cancer. However, he was a healthy person…We were never provided with the autopsy results even though it was our right to know why and how our brother died. One time the military’s Intelligence Secretary told us, ‘We thought that they would just give him a slap on the wrist or a simple rebuke. We never thought it would end up like this.’ However, he did not specify why he should have received a rebuke. Unfortunately, any body who is a conscientious worker in our country is dealt a blow" .
Parvin also told Rooz Online that Mr. Jafari, the head of branch 31 of the Supreme Court informed her that there is no evidence or proof in Hamid’s case, however, since the sentence has already been decided he will remain silent. Parvin asked him whether he was ready to sell his soul. His answer was silence .
Parvin Ghassemi-Shall describes their [family's] life as a “living hell”. Her mother just lost one of her daughters, her son Alborz died in prison, and she just witnessed her other son’s execution notice being delivered to him before her eyes .
Parvin said: “My mother has lost all her energy, and I am weak too. Our life is a living hell. We do not know whether they will take my brother to the gallows or he will be able to see the light tomorrow. Whether they call it Islamic mercy or something else, I ask them to not execute my brother. I ask everyone to write a line or say some words so that maybe the Islamic Republic will have mercy on my brother" .
I implore anyone who has a good relationship with the Islamic Republic to help us, and not let an innocent blood to be shed. I ask Mr. Larijani to study the case once again. Both my brothers were innocent. One is gone, please save the other one .

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