Tehran Prosecutor Denies Furlough to Abdolfattah Soltani
Despite the family’s presentation of a property deed as collateral, Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi refused to grant furlough to imprisoned lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani, the latter’s daughter told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Maedeh Soltani told the Campaign that the Prosecutor refused her father’s furlough request two days before Persian New Year, known as Nowruz, which prisoners are often allowed to spend with their families.
“A few months ago, they announced that in order for my father to be granted furlough, we had to come up with bail of 1.2 billion toman (approximately US$350,000), but my father said this bail amount was illegal. Our entire family’s assets could not equal this amount. But later, the authorities themselves told my mother that she should present a deed that my family could afford. They themselves said that whatever she brought would be accepted. My mother took the deed to my father’s law practice as collateral, which is a shared asset. They accepted it and promised my mother that he would be released on furlough,” Maedeh Soltani told the Campaign.
“But two days before Nowruz, they told my mother that Mr. Dolatabadi, the Tehran Prosecutor, had refused my father’s furlough request. They told my mother to bring a deed to release him, and then they refused to do it,” she added.
“I don’t consider my father a suspect. My father was a human rights activist whose rights have been violated in Iran and is now forced into imprisonment. But despite all the lawlessness about my father, he is now a prisoner and according to the country’s laws, a prisoner is entitled to furlough, and he has been deprived of this right,” Abdolfattah Soltani’s daughter said about her father’s situation.
“My father suffers from hemorrhoids and anemia. He was hospitalized for 40 days before, to receive treatment for this. He needs to be examined again and put on a medicine and nutrition regiment, but this is not possible in prison,” she added.
Abdolfattah Soltani, a prominent human rights lawyer, was arrested on September 10, 2011. On January 8, 2012, Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Pirabbasi sentenced him to 18 years in prison, exile to Borazjan, and 20 years’ ban on his legal practice on charges of “being awarded the  Nuremberg International Human Rights Award,” “interviewing with media about his clients’ cases,” and “co-founding the Defenders of Human Rights Center.” Abdolfattah Soltani spent months inside solitary cells of the Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209 at Evin Prison, where he developed severe anemia. In June 2012, an appeals court reduced his prison sentence to 13 years.