OA Interview with Mrs. Saremi
VOA: Tehran’s Prosecutor has accused Ali Saremi, Mohammad Ali Haj Aghai, and Jafar Kazemi of affiliation with and acting as sympathizers toward hypocrites. This interview is regarding the death sentences these three political prisoners.
In a phone interview with my colleague Payam Yadian, the wife of Ali Saremi explained that she feels the death sentence for her husband is unjust. She asks for help from the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Mrs. Saremi: Yesterday, we went to visit my husband. My husband seemed to have found out through interviews with Iranian TV. Then he told us that the news is in the papers too. My husband was arrested in September 2007 for going to east Iraq to…
VOA: Yes, but he did give a speech there and he did declare himself a follower of the Mojahedin organization.
Mrs. Saremi: Yes, after that, we got a lawyer. Mr. Hosseini is our lawyer. He has been present at my husband’s court dates….
VOA: And yet the lawyer was not aware of his client’s death sentence?
Mrs. Saremi: No, he didn’t know. They didn’t tell him. But three days after Ashura, they brought my husband’s death sentence to the prison to inform him, but my husband didn’t accept it. He stated that he has a lawyer and they should deliver the sentence to the lawyer. They never notified his lawyer of the sentencing. As far as they are concerned, the death sentence is confirmed.
We were stunned. That afternoon we went to his lawyer and told him what happened. The lawyer was very upset. He said, “What does this mean? We haven’t even had a chance to protest or object. How can it be possible for him to receive a death sentence in this manner?”
VOA: Mrs. Saremi, it is believed that stemming from the coup elections, we are now witnessing new types of sentences. The crime of ’Moharebeh’ has been issued to many prisoners. Please tell us, has your husband requested a pardon? Because the Attorney General of Tehran has suggested that some people who received death sentences have requested pardons.
Mrs Saremi: No, my husband has not requested a pardon. He has not done anything for them to execute him. How is it possible to receive a death sentence from visiting the grave of a friend at a cemetery? He did not have a weapon nor did he kill anyone to request a pardon.
VOA: Mrs. Saremi, you have also been arrested by security forces. What were you accused of?
Mrs Saremi: With my husband, we had gone to east Iraq…
VOA: Why were you set free but your husband remains incarcerated?
Mrs Saremi: Yes, they detained me for two months, then let me go without any charges. Every often they call me and come up with excuses to call me again.
VOA: Do you think, considering your child is in the Ashraf organization and is working with the Mojahedin Khalgh Organization, that this is connected to your husband’s death sentence?
Mrs Saremi: Absolutely, there is a connection. My husband hasn’t done anything. My husband has already paid for the crime of visiting Camp Ashraf when he was arrested in 2005 and served his sentence until 2007.