“Human Rights Organizations Should Defend The Rights of Prisoners,” Says Filmmaker’s Wife
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Fatemeh Maleki, the wife of journalist and filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad, said she has had no word from her husband for the past month. “My last meeting with Mr. Nourizad was on 18 March, and I have not heard from him since. He was in critical condition with his kidney problem, and [the problem with] his teeth; I think he may have lost all his teeth by now. The day he was recalled to prison, he was scheduled for treatment, but authorities said that we had to take him back to prison, and that they would pursue his dental work there, but it was never pursued and right now I have no information about him at all,” Maleki told the Campaign.
“I have not and will not try to find out why they won’t let us visit him or let him call us because I feel that they don’t understand what we are talking about at all, and our current conditions are not important for them at all. At this time, I demand the release of Mohammad Nourizad, and not having telephone contact or visitations with him. Efforts and struggles for getting visitation rights or telephone contact with family members of prisoners is a game they have imposed on us,” said Maleki.
“I would like to ask human rights organizations to step in independently and with impartiality towards groups and governments, and to defend the rights of those in prison,” she added.
“Even if they believe that Mr. Nourizad has committed crimes which deserve punishment, I believe 1.5 years in prison is sufficient punishment for him. Putting him in a place where he couldn’t say or do anything for 1.5 years is sufficient,” said Nourizad’s wife.
Regarding her visit with Nourizad on 18 March and his condition she said, “After his recall, they promised to move him to the General Ward, which, unfortunately, never happened. They kept him in the IRGC’s Ward 2-A by himself. I am sure now that he has not been transferred to Evin’s Ward 350, because I am in touch with the families of other prisoners in that ward.”
Mohammad Nourizad, a journalist and documentary filmmaker, was arrested on November 2009 in following the presidential election after writing letters critical of Supreme Leader Khamenei. Due to a deterioration in his health following successive hunger strikes in prison, he was transferred to the hospital on 16 December 2010. He was released 10 days later and transferred to his home. Nourizad was recalled to prison on 18 March and his contact with the outside world has been cut off since then.