Human Rights Violator: Mohammad Sadeghi

 First Name and Last Name:

Mohammad Sadeghi

Background:

No information is available about the birth and professional background of Sergeant Mohammad Sadeghi. His first presence on the scene was through interviews he conducted in 2008 as the director of the Center to Investigate Organized Crime. Media do not have permission to publish his photo[i] and even in the exclusive interview of Iranian national television Channel 2, only his voice was broadcasted.[ii] 

 Extensive measures have been taken to keep information about the Center confidential as even the building housing the Center to Investigate Organized Crime is unmarked and in an unclear location.

Titles and Positions Held:

2009 to present: Technical and Cyber Deputy of the Intelligence Office of IRGC

2007 to present: Responsible for the Center to Investigate Organized Crime of the IRGC

Witness Accounts of Alleged Violations and Crimes:

As the director of Center to Investigate Organized Crime of the IRGC, Sergeant Mohammad Sadeghi is responsible for all the violations of human rights that occurred in the different projects of this center against the cyber activists. The projects were explained in detail in section 3.1. Furthermore, Sadeghi and his deputy Mohammadi Nia, are the only two individuals who have so far spoken on behalf of the Center with the media or have given speeches or produced written material about the actions of the Center.

For example, in an interview with Panjereh—Window publication, Sadeghi admits that one of the important works of the Center to Investigate Organized Crime is to hack websites that produce criminal content, as per the definition of that by the IRGC.

In that interview, Sadeghi alludes to the intervention of IRGC and the Center in Gerdab Project, affirms that the Pornographic websites have been hacked by the IRGC and destroyed and then said, “IRGC has gathered all its might to enter this field; the bulk of the work surrounding entry into this field is on the shoulders of Center to Investigate Organized Crime. We have created case files for the major activists in this field by identifying them. We even dragged some of them into the country from outside under false agreements. All such individuals have been interrogated and the necessary information has been acquired. Some have had a sentenced issued for them and others are awaiting their sentences.”[1]

In this interview, Mohammad Sadeghi clarifies the way in which the Center uses Gerdab website as a tool for creating an unofficial spying network. For example, he speaks of the manner in which they use the website to acquire knowledge about the political activity of Iranian citizens outside of Iran, who have used their right to free speech and freedom of assembly and intended to return to Iran. He says,

On Gerdab website, we receive hundreds of report on a daily basis. Whatever you can imagine is reported to us, from economic matters to political, cultural, security and social issued. [We receive] things about people who others are suspicious of or individuals who had been viewed at protests in, for example, Stockholm who are now entering the country.[2]

In a post published on Gerdab website, Sergeant Mohammad Sadeghi personally announces that five of the cyber activists who were involved in the post-2009 election unrest have been identified and arrested. In the post, Sadeghi provides the first names and last initials of the five as well as their charges.[3]

As an example, he provides “launching and managing websites against national security, providing information about the place of gathering of the rioters and the slogans chanted, creating filter-breakers to enter filtered websites, inviting people to form illegal gatherings and cause riots and disruption,” as part of the charges against two brothers, Hassan and Ali B.

Another individual arrested named Omid L. was a 22 year old computer engineer who, according to Mohammad Sadeghi, is accused of inviting people to form illegal gatherings through sending 30 thousand internet messages as well as sending mass emails regarding the rigging of the election. He was also accused of receiving money from individuals in charge of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s campaign office.

According to Mohammad Sadeghi, another cyber activist named Amir A., electrical engineer, was arrested at his place of work. His charges include creating “nucleus of silence of the greens,” and sending call-to-action to internet users for causing disruption in the electricity system of Iran.[4]

In his appearance at a television show on March 2010, Sergeants Mohammad Sadeghi, counts the arrest of the members of Human Rights Activists Society and other cyber activists who worked on providing access to filtered websites to the Internet users as part of the accomplishments of the center under his directorship. In the television show, he is introduced as the “Technical and Cyber Deputy of the IRGC.”

This interview was Sadeghi’s only television presence to date. The other two guests on the show were Abbas Ja’fari Dowlatabadi, Prosecutor of Tehran, and Reza Seraj, director of the University Basij who is introduced as “political expert” on the show. While the other two guests were present in the studio, Sadeghi’s voice is broadcast over an image of a computer monitor.

On this television show, Sergeant Mohammad Sadeghi introduces both Human Rights Activists Society and Iran Proxy network as two networks engaged in America’s cyber war against Iran that have been “destroyed” by forces under his command.

Sources:

[1] Director of the Center to Investigate Organized Crime of IRGC: We are Standing Tall, Gerdab, November 10, 2010, available at http://www.gerdab.ir/fa/news/2826.

[1] This program can be viewed on YouTube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_8Esx3vyBw&feature=related.

[1] Director of the Center to Investigate Organized Crime of IRGC: We are Standing Tall, Gerdab, 19 ABAN 1389, available at http://www.gerdab.ir/fa/news/2826.

[1] Id.

[1] Deep Sedition Plan, Gerdab, available at http://www.gerdab.ir/fa/fetne.

[1] Id.