In Solitary Confinement for 65 Days, Political Activist Gets Only One Phone Call
A member of the Nationalist-Religious group and member of the editorial board of Iran-e Farda monthly, Saeed Madani, who was arrested by security forces on 7 January 2012, remains in solitary confinement. He has only been allowed to contact his family once since his detention began, his wife Mansoureh Ettefagh told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“Saeed only called home once during this time. Unfortunately, despite our follow-ups and correspondence, we have not been able to visit with him yet. We don’t know about his conditions, and this worries us. We don’t even know for what reason and on what charges he was detained, as we have not been given any answers about this. The only thing I can say for sure is that his detention has been extended until next month,” she said.
Security forces arrested Saeed Madani, sociologist, on 7 January and transferred him to Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209 at Evin Prison. He was one of several members of the Nationalist-Religious group that were arrested twelve years ago in March 2000. At the time, Madani was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of “membership in illegal groups,” “collusion with the intent to commit a crime,” and “propagating against the regime.” Judge Haddad, head of Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, issued sentences of 4 to 11 years and a ban on public speech, assembly, and political activity for 5 to 10 years for the entire group. Madani was released on $200,000 bail after serving five months in solitary confinement and seven additional months in prison. All suspects who served between 5 and 15 months in prison and solitary confinement were later released on high bail amounts.
The case file of Nationalist-Religious members has remained open in Appeals Court since then, but in the aftermath of the 2009 elections, first Hoda Saber, then Taghi Rahmani, and later Alireza Rajaee were arrested to start serving their prison terms at Evin Prison. Later, Massoud Pedram was summoned to Evin Prison, and now Saeed Madani has been detained for unknown reasons. Authorities have released Taghi Rahmani, but Hoda Saber died after he embarked on a protest hunger strike, faced the negligence of prison authorities, and was beaten inside Evin Prison’s infirmary.
“We were on the street when the forces came forward showing an arrest warrant for Madani and for searching the house. They entered the house and took away all of Saeed’s research works, the computer, my daughter’s and my laptop computers, and even personal items that were unrelated to Saeed. For example, I had film in my camera that was completely personal, but they took it. Also they took some of my daughter’s photographs, CDs, and films, and they have not returned them yet. We object to this behavior,” Mansoureh Ettefagh told the Campaign.
“Our request is that a prisoner’s basic rights be granted so that he is able to have visitation. Saeed has been in solitary confinement for 65 days. Though this is his third time in prison and he is familiar with solitary confinement, this is still very hard. Mr. Mohseni Ejei said himself in an interview that solitary confinement must be abolished. They should do what they say. Really, the right to visitation is a natural and normal right for prisoners,” she said.