PRESS RELEASE: USA – IHRC expresses concern over upcoming sentencing of Seyed Mahmood Mousavi

Islamic Human Rights Commission

03 October 2008

PRESS RELEASE: USA – IHRC expresses concern over upcoming sentencing of Seyed Mahmood Mousavi

The case of American Iranian national Seyed Mahmood Mousavi, scheduled to be sentenced on 06 October 2008, is an alarming one. In April 2008, Mousavi was found guilty of six felony counts, including his alleged violation of the US/Iran trade embargo, failing to report income and lying on his naturalization application. Nevertheless, several translated documents offered by prosecution as court exhibits have been suggested by expert witnesses as being flawed. Likewise, much evidence and testimony, strongly suggesting Mr Mousavi’s innocence, had not been presented to the court.

Amongst the numerous examples of alleged mistranslations was a document affirming that Mr Mousavi’s ‘war-victim’ (janbaz) status and eligibility to receive benefits was in fact evidence suggesting his affiliation to the military. This status, as has been affirmed by several expert witnesses, was awarded to military and civilians alike and is no way indicative of a military affiliation.

In recently submitted defense pleadings, Mousavi attorney Ronald Kaye says:

“The defense is cognizant and respects the fact that a jury returned a verdict of
guilty on the six counts of the indictment. But an objective review of Mr. Mousavi’s
life history, and of the evidence now available to the Court, reveals that the jury did
not receive a correct view of the facts of this case. As demonstrated by the
Declarations of highly esteemed scholars…in conjunction with the exculpatory evidence
not presented to the jury… there is substantial doubt whether the verdicts of conviction are just.”

“Ultimately, based on the arguments presented herein and the wealth of supporting documentation, after over one year in custody, the defense requests that the Court sentence Mr. Mousavi to a period of time served.”

IHRC firmly supports a lenient sentence for Mr Mousavi and the motion filed by his defense for a new trial. Likewise, IHRC is very hopeful that Monday’s sentencing does not become a travesty of justice.

For more information please contact the Press Office on (+44) 20 8904 4222 or (+44) 7958 607475 email[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:

[1] Please contact IHRC Press Office for a copy of sentencing position and Social History report of Mr Mousavi.

[2] Department of Justice news release on conviction may be viewed here:

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