Mahboubeh Karami Denied Bail Despite Poor Health
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the brother of Mahboubeh Karami, a women’s rights activist and member of the One Million Signatures Campaign described his sister’s conditions. Mohsen Karami said that his sister’s physical and psychological conditions in prison are not favorable, and that judicial authorities have denied her application for release on bail.
Regarding his sister’s condition in prison he said: “Mahboubeh’s physical and psychological condition is not suitable. Prior to her arrest, she was under treatment for some stress and minor depression, which she had developed after our mother’s death. After her arrest and 80-day detention in solitary confinement, her situation has exacerbated and we are really worried for her. Unfortunately, even though I discussed this issue with the Tehran Prosecutor and he promised to help by talking to the case judge, no action has taken place in this regard. On her trial day, the substitute judge presiding over the trial did not agree to set bail for her release. She is currently at Evin Prison’s Women’s Ward. She said during a recent telephone call that she had been examined at the prison infirmary.”
“Mahboubeh has respiratory problems. She can’t sleep well at night. The doctors have recommended septoplasty [deviated nasal septum surgery] for her, but Mahboubeh didn’t want to have an operation at any of the hospitals where Evin prisoners are sent. We would like to request a furlough for her so that she can have her surgery outside the prison with her own surgeon. Her attorney has asked the judge to forward Mahboubeh’s previous medical records which show she has been under the care of a psychotherapist to the court. The court has referred Mahboubeh to the Medical Examiner for tests and test results have been forwarded to the prison. We are expecting that the Medical Examiner’s report would be forwarded to the Revolutionary Courts so that the attorneys can finally request and receive a bail ruling,” he added.
The political prisoner’s brother said about her case: “Mahboubeh was scheduled to appear before the court on 28 June 2010, which she did with her lawyers. The lawyers went to the Revolutionary Courts and she was also transferred there from the prison. But Judge Pirabbasi was not present that day and the Prosecutor’s representative was not there, either, so her trial was postponed to 9 August 2010, about 40 days after the initial court date. Mahboubeh has been in prison for more than four months now. Her initial “temporary detention” was for two months which was extended without informing her. Mahboubeh objected to this, but they have not reviewed her objection yet.”
Referring to charges made against his sister, Mohsen Karami explained: “Some of the charges made against Mahboubeh are her membership in the Human Rights Activists collective and her activities in the One Million Signatures Campaign. Another one of the charges against Mahboubeh which was discussed in the session where a substitute judge presided was when they told her: ‘You opposed the closure of the Human Rights Defenders Center. Do you still think the same way.?’ Mahboubeh replied: ‘Yes.’ They said: ‘You seem to support Ms. Ebadi?’ Maboubeh replied: ‘Of course, she was my lawyer. I am not her lawyer. I believe her positions to be correct.’ This is why the substitute judge said that she insists on her prior points of view and this is probably why they denied her bail request.”
Replying to the question of whether Mahboubeh has accepted her charges, Mr. Karami said: “Imagine that if her charge is membership in the One Million Signatures Campaign, yes, Mahboubeh accepts that she is a member, but she does not accept that her membership is a criminal act.”
In regards to the way Mahboubeh’s interrogators have handled her, he said: “In the early stages of the interrogations, she was mistreated. On 21 March 2010, when she was allowed to have visitors for the first time, she said that she had been hit on the head with a water bottle and threatened to be detained for a long time. ‘We will not allow you to have quick fame and publicity like the other ones. We can do as we wish with you.’” At the end, Mr. Karami said: “I beg the authorities to pay close attention to the nature of the activities in which these people have engaged, and not to politicize those actions. In no way what these people were doing was criminal, and they did not do anything that was knowingly a crime. My request is that Mahboubeh, as well as other prisoners, be treated with fairness and that their trials to be just.”
Mahboubeh Karami is a women’s rights activist and member of the One Million Signatures Campaign. Her house was searched and her personal belongings were confiscated on 2March 2010 when she was arrested for the fifth time and sent to IRGC’s Ward 2-A at Evin Prison. Karami remained in that ward for more than 80 days. She was then ransferred to the woomen political prisoners’ ward at Evin Prison. Her first two arrests were related to the 9 July 2009 protests. Her third arrest on 13 June 24 2008, she was made on charges of acting against national security. She was released after 70 days in detention. She was arrested again on 26 March 2009 and charged with disturbing public order. She was released after 13 days. In all the cases above she was acquitted of the charges.