Fifteen Years Prison Sentence for Abbas Lesani was Confirmed by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court upheld the 15-years prison sentence for Abbas Lesani, an Iranian Turk (Azari) civil activist, by rejecting his appeal,

According to the Campaign for the Defense of Political and Civil Prisoners, the sentence of “Abbas Lesani “, a Turkish political prisoner (Azerbaijani) who was initially sentenced to 8 years in prison and exile by the First Branch of the Ardabil Revolutionary Court, chaired by judge Khodadadi, was increased to 15 years in prison and 2 years of exile in Yazd,  in the Ardebil First Branch of the Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Nasser Atbati. The sentences were upheld by Supreme Court by rejecting his appeal.

On Saturday, July 4th, 2020, when Seyyed Mohammad Reza Faghihi”, the lawyer of “Abbas Lesani”, went to the Supreme Court, received this verdict and notifying his family.

Charges against Abbas Lesani in the indictment  stated as “Formation, administration and membership in the so-called Gamaj civil and ethnic group (main branch) by a regular drawing chart in a case involving the formation of assemblies”, “Action against national security through incitement and encouraging Turkish ethnic groups in West Azerbaijan province through speeches and interviews with the regime’s dissident media” and “propaganda activities against the regime through the publication of insulting material through interviews with the assemblies.”

The Court of Appeals of Abbas Lesani, a prominent political prisoner  who was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment by former Ardabil Prosecutor Nasser Atabati and Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Ardabil under the chairmanship of Judge Khodadadi, held on Monday morning, September 16th, 2019 in first branch of the province, which has recently been headed by Nasser Atabati.

Ardebil Court of Appeals, Branch 1, headed by Judge Nasser Atebati, former Prosecutor and current Chief Justice of Ardebil Province, increased the sentences for prominent Turkish political activist Abbas Lesani from 8 years to 15 years in prison, and 2 years of exile.

According to court advisers, Ardabil’s new prosecutor, Seyyed Abdullah Tabatabai, has also filed a lawsuit against Mr Lesani, protesting the previous trial, calling for a review of the initial verdict against Mr. Lesani.

The sentence in which the Turkish (Azerbaijani) activist was acquitted of the charges, but with the new charge of “forming a group with the intention of disrupting the country’s security “, which is considered only in the lawsuit and under the pretext of issuing a sentence, is considered a crime.”

An informed source on the appeal court told the Campaign, “During the four-hour hearing run by two court clerks, Balal Mozaffari and Mohammad Shahbazzadeh, Mr. Lesani and his lawyer, Sayeed Mohammad Reza Faghihi, presented defense statements that protested the verdict issued at the first branch of Ardabil Revolutionary Court.”

According to the informed source, Abbas Lesani told the court: “This false accusation has so far been a scenario that the Intelligence Bureau interrogators described in detail at the time of the interrogation. I have told them already and telling you now – whatever the verdict is, even if it is life in prison or execution, I will not back down one bit. If there is only one living cell left in my body, it will fight for the people of Azerbaijan.”

At the end of the meeting, the Turkish (Azerbaijani) activist published open letters in Azeri Turkish.

Mr. Lesani was sentenced by the First Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Ardabil, presided over by Judge Khodadadi, to 8 years in prison and 2 years in exile in Yazd.

At the time, campaign sources said: “Abbas Lesani has been acquitted of the charges in his case, but in a controversial act he has been convicted on the basis of a new charge.”

An informed source told the campaign: “The formation of a group with the intention of disrupting the country’s security” is the title of an accusation that Judge Khodadadi, without explaining to Mr. Lesani, issued the sentence of eight years in prison. “The group, which has not been named, is separate from the group that he was tried for and acquitted on charges of forming the Gamaj organization, and neither the name nor the time and place of its establishment are mentioned in the text of the lawsuit.”

This prisoner in Ardebil Central Prison went on a hunger strike to protest the prison authorities’ refusal to give him access to the summary of his case file on Monday, May 27th, 2019. On June 15th, 2019, after his second court hearing, he ended his hunger strike conditionally.

Faced with accusations of “forming a Gamag group”, “acting against national security”, and “propaganda against the system”, he said in his second court hearing, “The judicial authority is mistaken in defining the movement and the organization. The National Movement of Azerbaijan is a movement based on the people of Azerbaijan to gain the rights of the nation. The history of the events and activities of the national movement shows that it has been and will be fully consistent with the civil and peaceful movements”.

Mr. Lesani had previously been sentenced to ten months imprisonment in a preliminary court trial and was charged with “propaganda against the regime and in favor of opposition groups” through a speech at the funeral of Hassan Damirchi, the Azerbaijani musician.

Subsequently, the Branch 26 of the Court of Appeal of East Azerbaijan Province, chaired by Judge Mikayel Khobiarpour, sentenced Mr. Lesani to 10 months of imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the system in favor of opposition groups”.

There have been many protests and objections to this arrest in various socio-political, cultural-sports, and human rights areas.


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