Iran “jails Iranian-American gallery proprietor and spouse”

Iran “jails Iranian-American gallery proprietor and spouse”

Karan Vafadari and Afarin NayssariSymbol copyright Middle for Human Rights in Iran
Symbol caption Karan Vafadari and Afarin Nayssari had been reportedly arrested in Tehran in July 2016

A court docket in Iran has reportedly passed an Iranian-American guy and his spouse long jail phrases after convicting them on espionage and different fees.

The US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) quoted a letter from art gallery owner Karan Vafadari as pronouncing that he have been sentenced to 27 years.

He added that his spouse Afarin Neyssar, an architect who has US everlasting residency, had were given a 16-year sentence.

There used to be no quick affirmation from the Iranian government.

The couple, who’re Zoroastrians, had been arrested by means of Iran’s robust Progressive Guards at Tehran’s global airport in July 2016, in line with the CHRI.

Two weeks later, the Tehran prosecutor introduced that “two Iranian twin nationals” have been charged with internet hosting events for international diplomats and Iranian friends all through which women and men combined and alcohol used to be served.

Iran’s charter says adherents of Zoroastrianism – an historical, pre-Islamic faith – aren’t topic to Islamic regulations on alcohol and combined gender gatherings.

In early 2017, further charges were brought against Mr Vafadari and his wife, together with “co-operation with enemies of the state”, “actions to overthrow the regime” and “recruitment of spies thru international embassies”.

In his letter from Tehran’s Evin jail dated 21 January, Mr Vafadari vigorously rejected all of the fees he and his spouse confronted and denounced the “unjust and tyrannical” sentences passed down by means of a Progressive Court docket the former week.

Mr Vafadari warned fellow Zoroastrians that along with his sentences at the espionage fees, he have been given an 18-month time period, condemned to 74 lashes and fined $38,000 for conserving alcohol.

He stated he won an extra three-year time period and used to be fined $162,000 for accepting alcoholic beverages as items from diplomats, and 15 years for “corruption and depravity” on account of internet hosting combined gender gatherings at his house.

Mr Vafadari wrote that he had additionally turn into the primary Iranian to be convicted below a little-used legislation that permits for the homes of twin nationals who’ve willingly given up their Iranian citizenship to be seized and bought at public sale.

Mr Vafadari’s US-based son, Cyrus, told the Wall Street Journal that the legal process had been “opaque” and that his father and stepmother would “attraction and combat for an excellent ruling, which is able to turn out their innocence”.

America state division stated it used to be conscious about Mr Vafadari’s sentence and known as for the “quick unencumber of all US voters unjustly detained and lacking in Iran”.

Iran does now not recognise twin nationals and denies them get entry to to consular help.

A minimum of 30 twin nationals – maximum of them Europeans or American citizens – are believed to were detained in Iran over the last 3 years, most commonly on spying fees. Analysts say hardliners see them as bargaining chips in negotiations with the West.

The twin nationals these days in jail come with Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian charity employee; Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi and his aged father Baquer, a former Unicef consultant; and Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, an Iranian-Canadian who used to be a part of Iran’s nuclear negotiating group.

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