Fariborz Raisdana

Fariborz Raisdana

Prominent economic analyst Fariborz Raisdana, who has been in prison for over a month, is facing a deterioration of his health condition. His wife, Azadeh Forghani, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that poor prison treatment and conditions threaten his physical state.

“Due to his age and his different illnesses, the prison environment is deteriorating his health and I am very concerned for him. He has diabetes, high blood pressure, digestive track and prostate problems. He must take his medicine regularly and follow a strict diet. Prison nutrition and hygiene conditions are not suitable at all. Even the prison store does not offer fruits and vegetables for prisoners to buy themselves. Away from his family and his only child who is 4, Fariborz has a very hard time,” Azadeh Forghani told the Campaign.

On May 21, 2012, security forces arrested Fariborz Raisdana, economic analyst, former university professor and member of the Iranian Writers’ Association, and transferred him to Evin Prison’s General Ward 350 to start serving his one-year prison term.

“When I visited with him on Monday, June 25, I realized he has not been given some of his pills, nor his glasses. But he had received his books and clothes. How can he read without his glasses?” said Forghani.

Raisdana was first arrested on December 19, 2010 at his home after he gave an interview to BBC Persian television about President Ahmadinejad’s “Targeted Subsidies Plan,” calling it “a neo-liberal policy.” He was released a month later, but at his trial on May 28, 2011, Judge Moghisseh of Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced Raisdana to one year in prison on charges of “propagating against the regime through membership in the Iranian Writers’ Association, signing certain political statements, and giving foreign media interviews that were critical of the Islamic Republic government’s performance.”

Fariborz Raisdana, a prominent economic analyst, had been banned from his permanent university teaching job due to his critical lectures and writings, and was only teaching as a visiting professor in universities. Prior to his May 21 arrest, security forces had threatened Raisdana to keep silent.

Raisdana’s wife told the Campaign that the Iranian Judiciary has not returned the bail posted for his 2010 release yet, and that no reasons have been given for the refusal.

“When Fariboz sees a man like Abdolfattah Soltani, his cellmate, who has been sentenced to 18 years in prison, or Saeed Madani, or the young people who are in prison for ambiguous reasons, his mental state is affected; all this could lead to a prisoner’s depression,” added Azadeh Forghani. “Thank God Fariborz knows how to keep up his spirits. Now he teaches a class in prison yard, analyzing Iran’s economy, and it no longer matters to him whether they would shut down his class or not! He is already in prison.”