State-controlled Iranian press reported on Monday that judge Gholamreza Mansouri who has incarcerated 20 journalists is reportedly in Hanover, Germany and is now facing a massive bribery corruption charge in the Islamic Republic of Iran.The anti-Western news agency Young Journalists Club (YJC) wrote that “Gholamreza Mansouri is a judge, who received a bribe of 500,000 euros, has now fled the country,” they added that he “is said to be hospitalized in Professor [Majid] Samii’s hospital in Germany.”
The US government news organization Radio Farda reported that Mansouri “issued arrest warrants for 20 journalists in a single day on February 8, 2013. On his orders, security forces raided offices of various newspapers to arrest the accused including at least two chief editors.”His attending physician, Majid Samii, faced intense criticism in 2018 for providing medical care to the late Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi at his International Neuroscience Institute. Shahroudi was responsible for the execution of adolescents while overseeing the country’s brutal justice system for a decade. He is a considered by human rights activists to be a mass murderer.Mansouri said in a video on Monday that he sent a lawyer to address the corruption charge against him. He added that he was recently informed about the allegation of bribery and he will return to Iran when the borders reopen.The alleged fugitive judge Mansouri worked in the Lavasan court, a wealthy town in Shemiranat County, Tehran Province, where he was accused of accepting a bribe of 500,000 euros ($564,855).Radio Farda listed statements from journalists imprisoned by Mansouri. Pouria Alami, wrote in a tweet that Mansouri sentenced Alami to solitary confinement on charges of “collaboration with MI6.”
MI6 is the foreign intelligence service of the government of Britain. Iran’s opaque justice system frequently manufactures espionage charges against journalists, as well as political and human rights activists.Radio Farda wrote that “Reyhaneh Tabatabai, a reporter for the reformist Sharq newspaper at the time, has also named him as the prosecutor who ordered her arrest in 2013.”The outlet noted that “Behnam Gholipour, a journalist now living outside Iran, in a tweet has called for appealing to international courts to put Mansouri on trial for gross violations of human rights.”Germany’s government previously issued a visa to Mansouri in 2018 for treatment in Hanover. The 2018 visa was only valid for a time period of 90 to 180 days, according to a statement by the Lower Saxony government in 2018, where Hanover is located.In 2018, Iranian dissidents accused the private International Neuroscience Institute of hosting Mansouri for medical treatment. The director of the INI denied that Mansouri was present at the time.