Two jailed students, Amirhossein Moradi and Ali Younesi, were today sentenced to 16 years in prison each by the Iranian judiciary.
The verdict issued by Branch 29 of Tehran Revolutionary Court found the pair, both former astronomy Olympiad students at Sharif University of Technology, guilty of so-called "corruption on earth" and " collusion and propaganda against the regime."
The IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency announced the sentence on Monday, newly claiming that Moradi and Younesi had been arrested in April 2020 “during a terrorist operation” and had links with “the group of hypocrites” (the Islamic Republic’s decades-old term for the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization), which their families have denied. The state news agency IRNA carried the same story, using only their initials to identify them.
The last hearing in the friends’ tumultuous case, which has made headlines inside and outside of Iran, took place on Sunday. Younesi, a computer engineering student and Moradi, a physics student, were held in solitary confinement and subjected to physical and psychological torture on the IRGC’s Ward 209 of Evin Prison for almost two months after their arrest. They were just 20 years old at the time.
The students were also denied access to a lawyer for almost a year During their two years of pre-trial detention they were forced to give fabricated “confessions” for state television which aired in December 2021.
Both Moradi and Younesi are now understood to be back on Ward 209 of Evin Prison after their sentencing. Their families, who have also been subjected to harassment by the security agencies since their arrest, have described the charges against them as “ridiculous”.