Jailed Iranian Lawyer and Human Rights Defender: “The Justice System Is More Ruined Than Before”
Fatemeh Golzar, wife of lawyer and a founding member of the Defenders for Human Rights Center Mohammad Seifzadeh, spoke with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran about her husband’s case. “Mr. Seifzadeh believes that he has not committed any crime, but the case must be brought to court so that he can officially protest it. As far as I know, the case was sent from the Prosecutor’s Office to the court but has not yet arrived and it is not clear at which branch his case will be tried,” said Golzar.
Mohammad Seifzadeh, who was detained by the Orumiyeh Intelligence Office for “illegal exit” in mid-April 2011, wrote a letter to former President Khatami, the text of which was published on several opposition websites yesterday. In his letter, Seifzadeh spoke of widespread violations of legal rights within Iran’s Judiciary system and warns that illegal authorities will soon fill the Iranian prisons, not only preventing the former president’s promises from realization, but imposing worse conditions on the people, the political elite, the political parties, and journalists of the country.
He also stated that every government that has a good judicial system and free newspapers and political parties does not experience revolutions and deterioration, pointing out that: “If we had had a good Judiciary in the old [Shah’s] regime, the revolution would not have occurred, as revolutions happen when the disenfranchised people cannot find an organization that would redeem their rights. As a judge and attorney with a long experience, I have to act fairly and say that the Judiciary [under the Shah] was not that bad. But now the former Head of the Judiciary says that the justice system was given to him in ruins, and he passed on an even more ruined system to the current Head of the Judiciary.
Golzar also spoke to the Campaign about Seifzadeh’s physical and mental state. “Until Monday of last week, every time we saw him his mental state was very good, thank God. But he needed special examinations for his liver and I asked the Prosecutor to allow him to be examined at a specialist hospital. Last week he authorized this and [Seifzadeh] was examined. This Saturday he is also going to get an MRI for his head and back. He suffers from a disk problem and he has also been experiencing problems with his head for a while.”
After two months of interrogations at Orumiyeh Intelligence Office Detention Center, Seifzadeh was transferred to Evin Prison where he spent one month in solitary confinement. He is currently in General Ward 350 of Evin Prison. Seifzadeh is a founding member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center. On 30 October 2010, he was sentenced to 9 years in prison and a 10 year ban on his legal practice on the charge of “actions against national security” by participating in establishing the Defenders of Human Rights Center. His case is still awaiting appeal.