A Letter From Prison: Interrogator Told Wife of Political Prisoner to Divorce Husband
In a letter addressed to Sadeq Larijani, Head of the Iranian Judiciary, political prisoner Abolfazl Ghadyani asks him to stop the Intelligence Ministry interrogators’ “harassment and the corruption” of the families of political prisoners. The letter, published on Kaleme website on Tuesday, December 11, directly addresses the interrogator of Alireza Rajaee, a journalist and political prisoner whose wife has been harassed by this interrogator.
One day after the letter was released, in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Abolfazl Ghaydani’s wife Marzieh Rahimi said, “By writing this letter, Abolfazl showed that he is still committed to the promise he made to himself and his God that if someone’s rights are violated, he will not remain silent. I am not worried for my husband. What more would they want to do with a sick 67-year-old man? They have sent him to prison with his several illnesses and for each letter of objection he writes and publishes from prison they create another judicial case against him. So far, he has six or seven cases for the letters he has written. He has stopped participating in his court trials because he does not recognize these courts as qualified. They won’t be able to do much more to Abolfazl.”
In his letter, Abolfazl Ghadyani refers to Ali Awsat, the Intelligence Ministry interrogator responsible for Alireza Rajaee’s case. “From the beginning of Dr. Alireza Rajaee’s illegal detention, [Mr. Awsat] has repeatedly harassed his family through different means and has put them under a variety of psychological and mental pressures, creating the worst conditions for a respectable and oppressed family,” Ghadyani writes in his letter. “Recently he has taken brazenness and meanness to a new level by telling Dr. Rajaee’s wife, ‘I will exile him to Borazjan or Rajaee Shahr Prison,’ and has outrageously asked her to divorce her husband. If you and other senior authorities of the regime had the slightest honor, these filthy interrogators would have been exposed and punished with actions a lot milder than this so that such irreligious and immoral wills would not find the opportunity for action and people’s families would not be jerked around like this. But, unfortunately, today these individuals are even cheered and promoted by the country’s leaders.”
Kaleme website has published Ghadyani’s letter addressed to Sadeq Larijani. About the interrogator, the article states, “This interrogator’s real name is Ali Anvari, and he works for the IRGC’s Intelligence Unit under the pseudonyms of ‘Ali Awsat’ and ‘Ali Anvarizadeh.’ He is among the inner circle of Hossein Taeb, Commander of the IRGC’s Sarollah Base, and he was formerly head of IRGC’s operations in Arak.”
Marzieh Rahimi, Ghadyani’s wife, described the conditions of Alireza Rajaee’s wife from their meeting at the last prison visitation day. Rahimi said, “I always see Mrs. Rajaee very upset during visitations. Our visits are through the booth and because we sit very close to each other, naturally sometimes we hear what other people are saying. At our last visitation I saw her with tears in her eyes as she told Mr. Rajaee that his interrogator tells her things on the phone. We had heard before that that interrogator sometimes calls Mr. Rajaee’s wife several times a day and sometimes every other day, and says things like, ‘What does Mr. Rajaee have that makes you wish to wait for him?’”
Asked whether similar conversations have been quoted by the wives of other political prisoners, Marzieh Rahimi said, “Yes, regrettably such things do happen. We had heard before that a judge had said immoral things to the wife of a political prisoner, something like why doesn’t she divorce her husband, and of course that woman confronted the judge strongly and sharply.”
In his letter, Ghadyani writes, “As a political prisoner of the former regime, I announce that such treatment which you support does the deposed Shah’s SAVAK proud despite all its corruptions and tortures. In that regime, despite all its corruptions and oppressions, prisoners’ families were treated with respect and no problems were created for the spouses or children of political prisoners. Unfortunately, this is a permanent shame for this religious dictatorship state that would justify any inhumane means for accomplishing its goals, and would justify any mistreatment and abuse and pressure on the families of political prisoners, marking the height of moral and humane decline of those in power.”
Abolfaz Ghadyani is a member of the Central Council of the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization who was arrested on January 9, 2010, and was sentenced to one year in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “insulting the Supreme Leader.” He was again sentenced to three additional years in prison in 2011. He did not attend his court trial, and in the defense bill he sent to the court stated that in the absence of a jury and with the trial being closed-door, he did not believe the court to be qualified to review his case. Ghadyani has written several letters from prison to the Supreme Leader and other top officials. In one of his letters to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, he called for a boycott of the parliamentary elections and asked the Supreme Leader to take charge of the country’s affairs. This led to the formation of a new judicial case against him.