Seyed Ziaoddin (Zia) Nabavi
Seyed Ziaoddin (Zia) Nabavi, a Chemical Engineering student, enrolled in Babol Noshirvani University of Technology in 2002. Between 2003 and 2007, with direct student votes, Nabavi was elected a member of the Central Council of the Islamic Association of the university. He was arrested after security forces stormed the university at night on 5 June 2009, taking him along with 15 other students for holding a hunger strike. He was subsequently suspended from education for two terms. Nabavi passed the graduate entrance exam and qualified for admission, however he was banned from education in 2008. He and a few other banned students formed the “Council to Defend the Right to Education” to defend the rights of banned students.
Nabavi was physically and psychologically pressured in 120 days of interrogations after his arrest. Human rights activists appealed for his release but Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Pirabassi, sentenced Nabavi to 74 lashes and 15 years of imprisonment, ten years of which must be served in the city is Izeh. The court ruling was later reduced by an appeals court to 10 years imprisonment in exile.
On 22 November 2010, without prior notice, Nabavi was transferred to Karoon Prison in Ahvaz.
Nabavi was accused of cooperating with the Mojahedin Khalgh Organization (MKO), a charge he repeatedly denied. He has said that the only reason for the court to issue such a decree is the presence of some of his family members in the organization’s Camp Ashraf in Iraq.
An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that at the time of Nabavi’s arrest by the Ministry of Intelligence, he was put under intense pressure to confess and sit for a television interview. He was told to announce that the topic of “Starred Students” was a ploy by campaigns of reformist candidates. In addition, he was told to announce that he organized protests by banned students were directed with the reformist as a ploy to launch a propaganda wave against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the election. According to the mentioned source, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence told Nabavi that if he sat for the interview, he would be provided conditions for his release.
The mentioned source told the Campaign that Nabavi rejected this proposal and once again denied the Ministry of Intelligence’s allegation of collaboration with the MKO.