Amnesty International calls on Iran to lift travel ban on elderly activist

Jun 04
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Mohammad Malaki asking, "Why the travel ban?"
Mohammad Malaki asking, "Why the travel ban?"

By Iran Probe Staff
Sunday, 4 June 2017

Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action statement calling on the Iranian regime to lift a travel ban imposed on Mr. Mohammad Malaki, a known human rights activist inside Iran.

Mr. Malaki was informed of his travel ban as he requested a visa to leave the country on medical grounds. He intended to go abroad seeking medical treatment and see his children in the Netherlands and Canada. He has a long history of illnesses, including diabetes and prostate cancer. It is worth noting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had during the election season pledged freedoms to the Iranian people.

History of Prison Time and Torture

Malaki was the first dean of Tehran University following the 1979 revolution. He has been in prison for many years due to his freedom-loving beliefs. He was initially arrested in 1981 and spent five years behind bars. During this period he endured a variety of different tortures, including lashes to his feet and other parts of his body, being hanged by his hands from the ceiling, his head slammed to walls, punched and kicked, and … This led to losing vision in his left eye and suffering a broken wrist.

Following the 2009 uprisings he was arrested yet again and spent a few months in jail despite the fact that during that period he was undergoing chemotherapy for his cancer.

In September 2011 Malaki wrote a letter to former UN special rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed announcing his readiness to deliver a testimony in court against the Islamic Republic of Iran, at all costs. In his letter he wrote, “I will testify how in the 1980s young prisoners and students, men and women, were tortured horrendously and sent for executions by the hundreds each night, and they would go off to their destiny, singing anthems on the way. I am willing to share with you the facts that I personally witnessed in the mullahs’ prisons and pay whatever price necessary.”

The Amnesty statement reads in part, “He has repeatedly tried to get his travel ban lifted so that he can visit his children who live in the Netherlands and Canada one last time as he fears he will soon be too ill to travel.

“His son in the Netherlands cannot travel to Iran as he would face a serious risk of arbitrary arrest and detention due to his dissident beliefs.

“Dr Mohammad Maleki was placed on a travel ban in reprisal for his human rights activities including a letter he wrote to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran in September 2011, detailing the torture to which he was subjected during his various periods of imprisonment between 1981 and 2009.”

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