As Mohammad Davari’s Conditions Deteriorate in Prison, Furlough Continues to be Denied
Judicial authorities have imposed an exorbitant bail on Mohammad Davari, whose conditions continue to worsen in prison. In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Bijan Davari, Mohammad Davari’s brother, said his physical and psychological condition is seriously deteriorating.
“Though he exercised in prison and tried to keep up his spirits and when talking to us, he never talked about what he was going through, we can no longer deny that his physical illnesses are pressing him,” Bijan Davari told the Campaign.
Mohammad Davari is a journalist, former teacher, and former editor-in-chief of Saham News, a website affiliated with Mehdi Karroubi. He was arrested in 2009 after political opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi wrote a letter to head of the Council of Experts reporting the torture of political prisoners inside Kahrizak Detention Center. Security forces tortured Davari in prison, pressuring him to make televised confessions against Karroubi.
Bijan Davari told the Campaign that judicial authorities asked the family for a $400,000 bail collateral. “Really, even if our entire family came together, we would never be able to raise this amount. We can at best raise $100,000. He says himself, ‘I have not committed a crime. Therefore I will neither request a pardon, nor furlough. I only want my freedom.’ Nonetheless, we did make an effort, but the bail amount is too high. Since his imprisonment in 2009, Mohammad has not been granted even one day of leave. Our old mother travels from Bojnourd to Tehran to visit with him once every month,” he added.
Iranian authorities sentenced Davari to five years in prison, which in 2011 was increased to six years. The last year of imprisonment was added due to Davari’s inability to pay a $5,000 cash fine for a teachers’ protest he attended in February and March 2006. Davari is a union activist and member of the Central Council of the Iranian Teachers Association. He is also a disabled Iran-Iraq War veteran.
“Unfortunately, Mohammad has developed psychological problems. He also suffers from a heart condition and he has had problems with his teeth for a long time. They told us to provide the name of a doctor so that they would take him there. We gave the names of several doctors, but they did not agree to those physicians. But why didn’t they take him to a doctor of their own choice? Is it possible that a huge prison like that does not have a heart specialist? Forget about his teeth that are entirely decayed. Well, when he sees that nobody cares, he endures double psychological pressure. And there is nothing we can do. We don’t know whose advice to seek, whom to tell, and how to tell! We have no one in Tehran. All of us feel helpless about what to do. Mohammad had a lawyer whose work ended after his verdict was finalized. It is really unbelievable that Mohammad who is innocent should stay in prison for five years,” Bijan Davari told the Campaign.
“If we have freedom of expression and press, why should he be in prison? It is so painful that an innocent Mohammad should spend five years of his life in prison, and on the other hand, his situation is not reviewed. We cannot do anything, just to stand and watch,” he added.