Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ganji’s wife: The Prosecutor’s Words are Laughable

Rooz Online:
In a public letter, Ms Shafiee, the wife of imprisoned journalist and writer Akbar Ganji has called the statement of Mahmud Salarkia, the deputy prosecutor of Tehran to be laughable. She warns that all those involved in her husband’s case will one day be tried by the public, to whom they are accountable.

The following are excerpts of her letter. READ MORE

In an interview with ISNA, Iran's student's news agency, Mr. Salarkia, Tehran's deputy prosecutor claims that Ganji is no visitation bans, hat he could be visited on the request of his attorney and family members and the approval of the prosecutor, and that there has been no visitation request from the attorney or the family members during this period.

To this I would like to respond by saying that this is the most laughable excuse ever, because as officials have repeatedly said that when a prisoner is seeing his term, as is Mr. Ganji, every one of them has a weekly meeting with designated family members or his attorney, can go on leave and can have daily telephone conversations, can have medical treatment, etc. Based on article 9 and 10 of the prison regulations, every prisoner who has been in prison for one fifth of his term is to be transferred to the general open ward, where he shall spend the rest of his term. This contrasts with the situation Mr. Ganji is in. While he only has 3 months left of his 6 year prison term, he continued to be held in solitary confinement. Based on which regulations and rules, I ask? Iran 'entire judicial system will halt if judiciary officials had to review visitation requests every week for every prisoner in prison. This is discriminatory, inhumane and illegal mistreatment imposed on Ganji. Does ‘general open ward” mean solitary confinement? Do family members of every prisoner in prison request to meet with their prisoner every week, or is this automatic and they only appear on the designated dates? Do these families go to the prosecutor’s office every week and hear threats, insults and humiliation? Not only is Mr. Ganji not treated according to the regulations and rules government prisons, he is treated discriminatorily when compared with other political prisoners.

Today is exactly 112 days that he has been in Evin’s Guantanamo-type cell, under very difficult conditions. I have no news from him for 37 days now. Our children, his mother and I are all under severe psychological pressure. Which law sanctions such mistreatment of a prisoner who has spent 6 years of his life in prison?

Salarkia says Ganji has no specific problems and is in good physical condition. When Ganji was forced to break his long hunger strike, severely tortured by Tehran prosecutors' agents who brutally hurt his left shoulder and was deprived of food and medical treatment, Mr. Soleimani, the director of Tehran prisons said Ganji was in his best shape. So when Salarkia says that Ganji is in a ‘relatively good’ condition, he must be in a horrendous situation.

In my last visit, Ganji weighted around 50 kg and his body was cold due to his low blood pressure. He continues to be seriously deprived of food and medicine. The world should be aware that this is a gradual and silent death. They are so scared of Ganji and so ashamed by this scandalous mistreatment that they do not allow anyone to see him.

Any official who is directly or indirectly involved in Ganji's case will soon have to face people in a people’s court. The forgiveness that today’s victims may provide at that time may not be of any use to the officials then.