Three jailed student activists were summoned to court Tuesday to face further charges by the Iranian judiciary.
Bahareh Hedayat, Majid Tavakoli and Mehdieh Golroo were summoned to branch 28 of the Islamic Revolutionary court to denounce statements attributed to them on websites and to press charges against the publishers of the material, Danehshjoo News reports.
The three activists issued a joint statement last December on the occasion of National Student Day in Iran, which led to further interrogations of Tavakoli and Hedayat in prison last month.
On Wednesday, the judge reportedly told the prisoners that if they deny the statements and press charges against the websites that published them, all current charges would be dropped.
The defence attorneys for the three activists did not attend this trial. Golroo, Hedayat and Tavakoli refused the court’s request and demanded that their attorneys be present. They also spoke out against the court’s procedures, which led the judge to expel Tavakoli from court.
The three students will face the new charges in the presence of their attorneys, according to the final ruling of Judge Maghisseh.
All three were arrested in December 2009. Tavakoli, a prominent member of Iran’s student movement, was taking part in National Student Day protests against alleged fraud in the last presidential elections. He was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison.
Hedayat, an executive member of Iran’s national student organization, Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat, was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison.
Golroo, a member of the Council for the Defence of the Right to Education, is now serving a 4.5-years term in prison.
Hedayat and Golroo have twice gone on hunger strikes to protest their harsh treatment in prison and to push for the right to be visited by their families.
Dozens of student activists were arrested and handed heavy prison terms in the post-election crackdown on protests over the past year and a half.