Saeed Matinpour’s Requests Conditional Release and Furlough
In a September 22 interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the wife of Saeed Matinpour, a civil activist and journalist from Azerbaijan Province currently serving an eight-year prison term, said that she had submitted her husband’s latest request for conditional release and furlough to the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office that day. Saeed Matinpour has served four years of his eight-year sentence and can therefore qualify for conditional release.
“I am at a point where I no longer have any hope in the Iranian judicial system. I have visited judicial organizations frequently for more than four years, but they haven’t told me the truth even once. These days I only talk to carry out my duty of trying to get my imprisoned husband’s voice outside of the prison, not because I have any hope in the Iranian judicial authorities. Today I delivered Saeed’s second and last letter, requesting conditional release and furlough, but I don’t know whether this letter will be answered or whether it will remain unanswered like the other letters,” Atieh Taheri, Matinpour’s wife, told the Campaign.
“Saeed’s case, from the very beginning and still today, has been on an illegal path. There was never any trial court for him in which he could defend himself. For nine months he was kept in solitary confinement, interrogated, tortured and finally sentenced to eight years in prison. His interrogators determined this sentence and sent it to Judge Salavati to sign, but Saeed was never taken to a court. His illegal sentence, issued without a trial, was enforced and now he has served half of it. He spent four years in prison without even a single day of furlough and we are now pursuing his conditional release,” Taheri added.
Saeed Matinpour, 37, studied philosophy at Tehran University and wrote in Zanjan Newspaper. He was also an activist in human rights and ethnic rights. He was arrested on May 25, 2007, for having participated in a seminar in Turkey in defense of the rights of Turkish-speaking people. Saeed Mantipour was tried in Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Salavati on charges of “connection with foreigners” and “propaganda against the regime,” and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Saeed Mantipour is serving his sentence at Tehran’s Evin Prison.
“In response to my letters, they only say that the IRGC [Revolutionary Guard] does not approve Saeed’s leave, but they never give a reason for the IRGC’s disapproval. A few weeks ago, when I went to the Prosecutor’s Office to submit a furlough request, the Assistant Judge told me that as long as my husband does not write a pardon request, there will be no furlough. But Saeed does not want to write a pardon request at all. He says, ‘I did not do anything that was against the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran and I was never found guilty in any court of law, so I can’t request a pardon for it,’” Taheri told the Campaign about her four years of letter writing to the authorities.
Regarding Matinpour’s physical condition, Taheri said, “During his nine months in solitary confinement, Saeed developed acute spinal problems. He now suffers from severe back and neck pains, which unfortunately continue. Once, when they wanted to transfer him to a hospital, Saeed refused to be taken in handcuffs and footcuffs, and they refused to transfer him.”