The pair have both been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison since October 2020. Raouf, a labor rights activist, was arrested while on a visit from the UK and Taghavi, an architect, was detained at her apartment in Tehran.
Taghavi spent 194 days in solitary confinement in Evin and was interrogated 80 times for a total of 1,000 hours without legal counsel, according to her daughter Mariam Claren. Raouf was held in solidary confinement for six months.
The dual-nationals were sentenced by Branch 6 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran to 10 years in prison for “participation in and managing a banned group” and eight months for “propaganda against the regime”.
These sentences, the Center for Human Rights in Iran has warned, comes at a time when coronavirus is still rampant in Iran, with record numbers of daily COVID-19 infections recorded and the country’s overcrowded prisons are at particular risk.
“To condemn two peaceful, elderly people to prison under sham charges at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is raging throughout the country reveals the cruelty of the Iranian judicial system,” executive director Hadi Ghaemi said.
“These sentences indicate that the Iranian security establishment isn’t content with unlawfully harassing, jailing, and muzzling people. It also wants to endanger their lives.”
At least 16 dual nationals are currently held in Iran on spurious charges. The CHRI added that the rights situation in Iran has already further deteriorated since Ebrahim Raisi, a hanging judge implicated in gross human rights abuses over decades, was elected president on June 18. Raisi’s inauguration will take place on Thursday.