Editor of State-Funded News Agency Remains Detained Without Access to Due Process
Detained since December 2016, Tahereh Riahi, the social affairs editor of the state-funded Borna News Agency, remains isolated in Evin Prison in Tehran while being denied access to legal counsel.
“Ten days ago (February 13, 2017) Tahereh had brief (phone) contact with the family that lasted a few seconds,” an informed source who asked not be identified for security reasons told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “She was very distressed and she said ‘don’t wait for me’ as she was crying.”
“Since then, we have not heard anything,” said the source. “Unfortunately, she is not allowed to use the phone or to have visits, not even from her lawyer.”
Riahi was working at Borna’s main office in Tehran when she was arrested by agents of the Intelligence Ministry on December 27, 2016. She has been accused of “propaganda against the state.”
Borna News Agency is a branch of the Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry, which reports directly to President Hassan Rouhani.
“The authorities are saying that no one can visit Tahereh because she’s under interrogation, but this uncertainty is very distressing,” said the source. “The family has no idea why Tahereh is being held.”
“Why is there no end to the interrogations, or when her case is going to trial?” added the source.
“Her family are following up on her case every day. If she’s not going to be released, they want to be arrested, too,” the source told the Campaign.
“When she was first taken into custody, we were told by the authorities that she would be released in two or three days, but it’s now been close to two months,” added the source.
An informed source told the Campaign in January 2016 that Riahi was injured during her initial interrogation.
“Tahereh had a short phone conversation with her mother on January 30 and said she had been interrogated,” said the source. “She was crying and saying she was feeling terrible and going through very difficult times.”
“We also heard that her left cornea was injured during the interrogation,” added the source. “We even heard she was taken to the hospital for treatment, but we don’t have more information.”