Fake verdicts against Mohammad Ali Taheri to cover up his death under torture
In the midst of the games played by security agents of Islamic Republic in regards to the verdicts against Mohammad Ali Taheri, the founder of Erfan Halgheh, and creating confusion in public’s opinion by confirming and denying his death sentence multiple times, which continues to this day, a garbled and distorted text has been published in cyberspace that is claimed to be Mr. Taheri’s verbal defense during a closed court session.
The distorted text that is claimed to be Mr. Taheri’s verbal defense, as well as his conversations with the judge, attorney general, the interrogators, and the experts in his case is published by a newly established and unknown website, and since its publication the text has been circulating the cyberspace by a number other people. But, based on previous reports Mohammad Ali Taheri has not attended any court hearings to address the accusations of Corruption on Earth, despite the state media, especially those affiliated with the security forces, citing Sayed Mahmood Alizadeh Tabatabaee, Mr. Taheri’s attorney, and reporting that the court hearings have taken place.
The publication of this text as Mr. Taheri’s defense is important because a great number of his students had announced that he has died outside the Evin Prison after a lengthy hunger strike in February of 2016. They had also warned that the interrogators and the judiciary agents (whom Mr. Taheri had complained about in his letter to Mr. Ahmed Shaheed) would conceal the news of his death, pretend that he is still alive, publish false and untrue statements attributed to him, and create a deviation from the course of Erfan Halgheh and its founder. A warning that we are witnessing to unfold in front of us.
Although the source of the defense statements during the closed court sessions has not been identified, the independent legal experts and the human rights activists believe that despite the accuracy or fallacy of the published texts, it is clear that they have been either published or directed by the security forces to achieve their objectives. Given the silence of the judiciary and the defense attorney, with the former not responding to the violation of the verdict in closed sessions and the latter not showing any reaction to the violation of his client’s rights, it is clear that no one dares to challenge the actions of the security forces. To this date, a month after the publication of this news, no person, civilian or legal, who is related to the case, such as the judiciary, defense attorney, or close relatives of Mr. Taheri have not issued any official statements and the efforts of Halgheh News to contact these individuals have not been successful.
Shahnaz Niroomanesh, the director of International Taheri Campaign rejects the validity and authenticity of any texts or footage related to Mr. Taheri and his court appearance in April of this year, or last March. She told Halgheh News, “Master Mohammad Ali Taheri during the length of his captivity, as he had indicated in his letter to Mr. Ahmed Shaheed during his six-day leave in Norooz of ’94, there had been many staged interrogation and court sessions to put pressure on him and fabricate scenes to issue a death sentence verdict. The sounds and images are in possession of the interrogators and it is possible that the recently published text has been put together by extracting bits and pieces of these staged interrogations and court sessions, as well as new sections added by the interrogators.” Shahnaz Niroomanesh added, “In addition to efforts to destroy the independent, anti-oppression, and resistant image of Mr. Taheri, this text has tried to deny sections of his teachings of Erfan Halgheh by offering false information. It is interesting that the sections in questions are those that the government version of Erfan Halgheh rejects. It seems that those who have written these lines have forgotten that Mr. Taheri had said before that the basic components of Erfan Halgheh are inviolable, even if I reject them myself.” In conclusion, Shahnaz Niroomanesh emphasizes on an ongoing program by the Iranian government to deviate from the concepts and meanings of Erfan Halgheh, “In addition to the mentioned points another objective for publishing such texts is not only to destroy the credit and the denial of the trust of Master Taheri in those who are not willing to cooperate with the government based Erfan Halgheh, but to pave the ground to reject any unpublished document from Master Taheri that could endanger the government’s version of Erfan Halgheh.”
The content of the published defense are considered to be invalid and inviolable because they do not include the entire Mr. Taheri’s defensive statements and the conversations of those attending the alleged court session. It only includes selected questions and answers of an assembly that was conducted in two sessions, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, during the length of a working day. Not to mention that the space that is described in the text as court session to study and review the case of Mohammad Ali Taheri, does not resembled to what has been experienced previously as closed sessions of the Revolutionary Court for those being tried for Corruption on Earth, especially a person who is very popular in the society, is watched by the media, his name appears in the report of the United Nations’ Human Rights observer, and the Amnesty International has issued an urgent statement about his special condition. The discrepancies are so apparent that even the combination of the persons who are claimed to have attended the session and had questioned Mohammad Ali Taheri, more than being testimonies to the arrangement of such court hearing, speak of an interrogation session of the accused in front of the judge, experts, and the interrogators.