Shabnam Madadzadeh’s Critical Condition in Evin Prison
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Behrouz Alavi, a student activist and member of the Islamic Association at Tarbiat Moallem University, described the condition of Shabnam Madadzadeh as critical and said: “Unfortunately, Shabnam is not in good physical condition. Two weeks ago she suffered several episodes of unconsciousness and was transferred to the Evin [prison] infirmary wrapped in a blanket.” Over the past several weeks there have been reports about the deteriorating health of Madadzadeh, the former Deputy Chair of Tehran’s Tahkim-e Vahdat student organization, and the lack of medical attention given to her.
Shabnam Madadzadeh, 22, was arrested on unknown charges by security forces in late February 2009, and has been imprisoned at Evin since then. When the intelligence forces transferred her to the drug offender’s ward, known as the Methadone Ward, many human rights defenders and non-government media outlets vehemently objected.
Regarding the process of Madadzadeh’s arrest and case file, Behrouz Alavi told the Campaign: “She has been in prison since her illegal arrest on 19 February 2009. She had left the Karaj campus of TMU, heading for Tehran, when an unmarked vehicle signaled the taxi cab carrying her to stop. Despite Ms. Madadzadeh’s objections, she was taken away. Replying to objections about the manner of her arrest, the agents told her that she was being arrested because she was at a party the night before. She was transferred to a police station in Rajaee Shahr in Karaj, where the same reasons for her arrest were repeated. When she told the agents that she was not at any party the night before, she was told to contact her brother to come and take her home. But immediately after her brother, Farzad Madadzadeh, entered the police station, he was arrested as well and the two of them were transferred to Evin prison. The are apparently both being charged with ‘actions against national security.’”
Shabnam Madadzadeh has served 11 months in “temporary detention” against Iranian Criminal Procedures, and 70 days in solitary confinement in Ward 209 of Evin prison. Referring to the unlawful actions of Judge Moghiseh, who is in charge of Madadzadeh’s case, Behrouz Alavi said: “Unfortunately, Branch 28 has had a lot of problems like this and as you may be aware, Mohammad Mostafaee, who is a lawyer, has registered a complaint about this Branch’s conduct with regard to the length of judicial reviews of cases and the lack of procedural reviews. Her initial trial was postponed six times while she served one year in “temporary detention.” The court finally sentenced her and Farzad Madadzadeh to five years in prison and they were exiled to Rajaee Shahr Prison to serve their sentences. Currently her lawyers, Mr. Oliaeefar and Ms. Sotoudeh have objected to this sentence, but her file has not been sent to an appeals court yet. The issue of lack of regard for review procedures has been mentioned several times, but unfortunately the problem persists.”
Behrouz Alavi, a student activist, also referred to Madadzadeh’s weekly visitation, adding: “The problem is that she is being kept in an inappropriate location in the Women’s Ward. Of course there are other political prisoners in that ward, but there is insufficient medical attention to prisoners in that ward, especially as her condition has become critical in the past two weeks and she has not received any medical attention.”
Referring to Madadzadeh’s charges of heretics, “moharebeh,” and “propagation against the regime,” Alavi expressed hope that the charges would be reduced during the appeals process. “Article 186 of the Islamic Penal Code states that ‘when any group or organization attempts armed confrontation against the Islamic Republic of Iran, so long as its leadership is intact, all its members and supporters who are aware of the organization’s positions and take steps to further its objectives, are ‘enemies of God,’ even if they are not involved in its military branch.’ But none of these conditions exist in her case at all. Shabnam Madadzadeh is the Deputy Chair of the Tehran Council of Tahkim-e Vahdat Student Organization and a member of the TMU Islamic Students Association and such charges do not match the ideals and practices of either organization. The sentence is not final yet. It will have to become final, and will probably take some time before the case is sent to an appeals court and reviewed. The appeals court will have to make its final ruling before the sentence is carried out. This process will take several months and we hope that the appeals court overrules the sentence. We hope at a minimum that the exile ruling is eliminated.”
One year after her arrest, Madadzadeh has not been granted a temporary release yet.