Thursday, December 01, 2005

Yet Another Unlawful Imprisonment

Rooz Online:
After 100 days of imprisonment, Iranian journalist Masoud Bastani revealed that the prosecutor of the Central Province who is the former judge in his case, continues to deny him monthly, sick and merit leaves. In his letter from prison, Bastani describes the atmosphere in his prison, and writes, It’s been 100 days since I have been imprisoned for simply being a journalist and an editor of a weekly publication. But in addition to the distressing and deplorable health conditions in the jail, I am also exposed to dangerous diseases such as AIDS and Hepatitis.” READ MORE

In her interview with “Rooz”, Bastani’s wife, Ms Amrabadi describes the conditions in the prison in these words:Masoud is sharing a prison cell with a murderer who had killed 9 women, an armed robber, and other violent criminals. He is facing numerous health problems and urgently needs dental care, which is unashamedly denied to him. Arak’s prosecutor seems to have a personal vendetta against my husband and does not even allow him to write a letter to other officials.”

Mrs. Amrabadi continues her plight and says that the prosecutor is merely imposing his personal position in the case because he believes that Masoud should remain in prison. According to article 8 of Iran’s criminal code, when the victim of a crime withdraws his complaint against the accused, there is no need to keep the accused in detention.

In his letter, Bastani writes that his wife, relatives and lawyer have gone to great lengths to win the consent of the victims’ family and relatives to withdraw their complaint, which they eventually have done. But despite this legal provision and the consent of the complainant, Arak’s prosecutor has kept the dossier in his own office and does not allow it to be reviewed by other judicial authorities, and continues to keep me imprisoned for 100 days now. The prosecutor has demanded that only when and if Bastani writers a letter repenting his actions and asks for clemency will he granted a parole. But he continues to struggle with this issue and cannot accept to proclaim repentance and ask for clemency for something that he has not done.

It is worth noting that the head of Iran’s judiciary ayatollah Shahrudi had recently issued an order for reviewing the files of a number of political prisoners, including Masoud Bastani, but it seems that in Arak too no one cares about the orders of Iran’s head of the Judiciary.