Masoomeh Yavari, a 45-year-old Iranian mother and former political prisoner, is facing the death penalty for allegedly collaborating with a group opposed to the Islamic Republic and for setting fire to a security facility, IranWire has learned.
A well-informed source said that Yavari was charged with "waging war against God," which can carry a death sentence.
She is accused of "setting fire” to a base of the paramilitary Basij force on Taleqani Street in the city of Golpayegan last year and of "communicating” with an alleged member of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).
While in custody, Yavari was subjected to torture, deprived of medicine, and threatened that her son would be sentenced to 15 years in prison if she did not “confess.”
IranWire’s source said that Masoomeh Yavari was arrested on September 5 at her home in Golpayegan, Isfahan province.
Her son Mohammad Mehdi, a second-year student at Isfahan’s University of Medical Sciences, was taken into custody two weeks later after he inquired about his mother's situation and tried to provide her with the medications she needed.
Yavari is in a critical health condition.
She underwent disk surgery several years ago and, due to severe back pain, she could only work in a seated position before her arrest.
She also suffers from thyroid disease and heart arrhythmia, a condition that occurs when the electrical signals that tell the heart to beat don't work properly.
The source said that Yavari confessed to crimes she had not committed to spare her son from a 15-year prison sentence: “She was coerced and threatened to confess acts such as setting fire to the Basij base, even though she has nothing to do with that. She was forced to ‘confess’ to many other things she hadn’t done, and her health would not have allowed her to do them."
"The primary reason for the arrest seems to be the alleged setting fire to the Basij base. Their witness is Yavari's neighbor, an intelligence officer who reported she had suspicious movements."
IranWire has obtained medical documents related to Yavari's lumbar disc condition.
It remains unclear how the Islamic Republic of Iran's security and judicial system could possibly accuse a person in such a physical condition of setting fire to a base.
Confession Under Threat
IranWire’s source said that Yavari rejected the charges against her during the initial two weeks of her detention, despite experiencing severe pain and being denied sedatives: "After the arrest of Mohammad Mahdi, they showed her his picture and insisted that she confess or he would otherwise be given a 15-year [prison] sentence."
Yavari finally admitted guilt, saying: "Even if you say I killed someone, I’m willing to accept everything for the sake of my children. I will sign whatever you put in front of me."
Yavari faces the charge of “waging war against God” due to her connection with Shabnam Maddzadeh, whom Iran's security apparatus described as "a leader of hypocrites," in reference to PMOI members.
The source said that she encountered Madadzadeh in 2009, when the two women were incarcerated in the same ward.
At that time, Madadzadeh, a student activist, was imprisoned because of her sister's alleged membership in the PMOI. She left Iran after her release.
Yavari was arrested for participating in protests against the results of the 2009 presidential election. She was also later released.