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Iran: The fate of 2009 political prisoners who never received furlough

Jun 22
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By Staff Writer, Iran Probe
Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Seven years after the controversial 2009 presidential elections in Iran that led to the widespread arrest of various activists and those protesting the election results, a number of those detainees remain in prison deprived of furlough.

Their families say there is no reason for their jailed family members to be held behind bars, yet they continue to “rot” in detention seven years after those disputed elections.

Reyhane Haj Ibrahim is a political prisoner held in the women’s ward of Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. It has been seven years since she has been deprived of any furlough. Parvane Taheri, the mother of this political prisoner, says her daughter was first sentenced to execution, and then 15 years in prison.

Reyhane Haj Ibrahim was arrested in 2009 along with Ahmad and Mohsen Daneshpour Moghadam, Mottahare Bahrami and Hadi Ghaemi.

“Mr. Daneshpour Moghadam is my husband’s cousin. On that day in 2009 they raided the home of Mr. Daneshpour and arrested my daughter. One of the sons of this family was in Iraq and Camp Ashraf, and they had gone there to see him. That is why they arrested everyone and first issued death sentences. Ms. Bahrami’s sentence was changed to 10 years behind bars. She was released five years later due to her dire physical conditions, and is now exiled in the city of Karaj. However, Mr. Daneshpour and his son, who is my son-in-law now, are both on death row in Evin Prison,” Mrs. Taheri said.

“In her spare time [Reyhane] was teaching Mrs. Bahrami how to use a computer. This itself has been raised as a charge against her. They say she had helped the infidels [term used by the Iranian regime for the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran]. Then they charged her of insulting the leader, and a few other allegations. Five years, five years, they kept on adding to her sentence until it became 15 years behind bars… seven years has past now and they are not agreeing with her conditioned release either… they are demanding 7 billion rials for her bail (around $235,000), which we cannot afford. Reyhane has not received even one day of furlough,” Mrs. Taheri adds.

Hadi Ghaemi has also been deprived during the past 7 years.

“They are demanding 10 billion rials (around $335,000) in bail for his furlough, and we cannot come up with such money,” said his son Yousef. Hadi Ghaemi is 68-years-old and was a clothing store owner at the time of his arrest, according to his son.

They are not the only political prisoners remaining in prison from 2009 onward. Bahare Hedayat and Zia Nabavi are renowned college activists who remain in prison in Evin and Semnan since 2009, each sentenced to 10 years behind bars. Hossein Ronaghi Malaki, a blogger and human rights activists, is serving a 15 year sentence behind bars. He is currently on medical leave from prison.

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