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Three months

Rick Gladstone on injustice in the US (and elsewhere):

'He was walking home from his consulting job at Iran’s United Nations mission in New York, his adopted city of many years, when the F.B.I. agents approached. He was arrested, handcuffed and driven to a hotel.

The life of the consultant, Ahmad Sheikhzadeh, a naturalized American citizen of Iranian descent with a doctorate from Columbia University and a network of prominent Iran contacts including its foreign minister, was altered on that day in March 2016.

In the hotel room where he was kept overnight, Dr. Sheikhzadeh recalled, the agents told him he could be imprisoned for decades on tax and sanctions violations if he did not become an informant. He had worked at the Iranian mission since 1990, preparing analyses of published articles on Iran and discussing them at weekly meetings.

Dr. Sheikhzadeh, a 62-year-old bachelor, migrated to the United States before Iran’s 1979 revolution and became a citizen in 2000. He surrounds himself with books in his Greenwich Village apartment, takes yoga classes and checks on older neighbors.'


'The judge sentenced Dr. Sheikhzadeh to three months at a minimum-security prison camp. She also ordered the surveillance anklet removed pending a prison date.

“She finally realized the guy didn’t need it in the first place,” Mr. Zissou said.

It was a bittersweet moment for a man who had embraced life as an American. The government’s invasion of his privacy, Dr. Sheikhzadeh said, had especially galled him. “What rights do you have as a citizen?” he said.

He said he was unsure what he would do after his sentence was completed. “Teach, volunteer work — it’s, like, beyond my imagination,” he said. “I just can’t wait to get over with this case.”'

Read the article here.

What rights do you have as a citizen? Not too many. If the state wants to crush you, it will do so. But in quite a few countries you will disappear forever. In the US the judicial system is not completely malfunctioning, at least for now.