Imprisoned doctoral student Hamid Babaei has been banned from receiving visitations after the prison warden accused him of “insulting” Iran’s supreme leader during a discussion about a complaint Babaei had sent to the warden’s office.
“Hamid had written to [Mohammad Mardani] the warden at Rajaee Shahr Prison [in Karaj] to complain about why his letters to the prosecutor were unlawfully withheld,” a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “The warden summoned him for a conversation and then accused him of insulting [the supreme leader] and banned him from visitations.”
The source added that Babaei’s family only found out about the ban after Babaei’s wife, Kobra Parsajou, was refused entry at the prison on December 28, 2016 after arriving for a pre-scheduled visit.
Babaei, 33, who was pursuing his doctorate in finance at the University of Liège in Belgium before he was arrested in Iran on August 13, 2013, says he was imprisoned for refusing to operate as an informant for Iran’s Intelligence Ministry.
On December 21, 2013, during a trial that lasted less than 10 minutes, Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison with an additional four-year suspended term for “spying and contact with enemy states.” The Appeals Court upheld the ruling.
Babaei is eligible for parole based on Article 58 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, which states: “… the deciding court can issue the order of conditional release for convicts sentenced to more than ten years’ imprisonment after half of the sentence is served, and in other cases after one-third of the sentence is served.”