Tag Archives: Mehdi Mahmoudian

The use of new pretexts by judicial authorities to prevent the release of political prisoners

Kaleme – Sepand Mir Yousefi Despite the new Islamic Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedures which effectively could lead to the release of many political prisoners, judicial authorities not only insist on the unjust prison sentences to be fully served, they also seek to keep the prisoners behind bars even after their prison sentences have been served. To accomplish this, the authorities have used some prisoners’ time out on prison furlough as an excuse to prevent them from release when their terms are done. On the other hand the wife of Mehdi Mahmoudian says a representative of the Prosecutor’s office gave them verbal assurances that prison furlough would not be counted as a leave of absence. According to Kaleme, Mehdi Mahmoudian, Bahman Ahmadi Amoui and Masoud Bastani are 3 such political prisoners who were arrested in 2009 during the events of mass protests following the disputed presidential election results. All 3 have been serving their sentences in Rajai Shahr prison. Prison officials have so far abstained from tending to their legal files consequently postponing their release dates. However what the judicial authority labels as a leave of absence is in reality the time that these prisoners – per the verbal approval of the representative of the Prosecutor’s office – remained out of prison while on furlough. Mehdi Mahmoudian [prominent journalist who exposed gross human rights violations at the Kahrizak detention center, and member of the now banned Participation Front political party] –  is one such prisoner who was due to be released today August 21st.  But he remains behind bars and per orders of prison authorities his release date has been extended until September 7th. Elham Zolfaghari in an interview with Kaleme explains the dealings between judicial authorities and her husband Mehdi Mahmoudian leading to his release date being prolonged for an extra 2 weeks.

Mr. Mahmoudian was arrested in September 2009 and has been behind bars since then with the exception of a few short releases on furlough. Considering the fact that his prison sentence was 5 years, what is the exact date of his sanctioned release?

His release date was set for August 21st, which is today. But last year he was granted furlough for about 3-4 months along with [political prisoners & journalists] Bahman Amoui and Masoud Bastani. At that time they went to the Prosecutor’s office several times to request an increase to their time on furlough, and [deputy prosecutor] Mr. Khodabakhsi himself said not to come back to the office because they would put extensions into effect themselves, and would call the prisoners and let them know whenever it was required of them to report back to prison. But then one month and 20 days before the [Persian] New Year they called and said, ‘Why haven’t you come back? We will count this period of time that you failed to return as a leave of absence!’

So the time that they had verbally acquiesced to as an extension to furlough, they ended up counting as a leave of absence? When did you become aware of this?

The document that was given to Mehdi showed February 21, 2015 as his release date prompting us along with other families to make visits to the Prosecutor’s office. We said the time off was on furlough and you were the ones who told us you would call when it was required of them to go back to prison. After all a prisoner’s leave of absence doesn’t happen like this. One day maybe they don’t show up,; 5 days; 20 days; but no one will not show up for 160 days, especially knowing that the days will be counted towards a leave of absence. For Mr. Amoui they had tallied 140 days and for Masoud Bastani 120 days. Nobody would be a no-show for this long!

Did you not follow up on why they didn’t adhere to what Mr. Khodabakhsi had said? What is the end resul

We pursued the matter extensively and they finally agreed to count some of the days as time on furlough, but refused to concede about 15-16 days. His release should have been August 21st which is today but they added some time and announced September 7th as his new release date.

Did you have visitation with Mehdi on Wednesday? Did he not say anything about this issue?

He also said that his release date is August 21st but they have counted 15-16 days as a leave of absence therefore extending his release date to September 7th.

How about Masoud Bastani and Ahmadi Amoui?

Bahman’s release date was scheduled to be September 21st but 15-16 days were added, extending it to sometime in mid-October. And Masoud has a 6-year prison sentence, which makes his release date sometime around this time next year.

What do Zeynab’s daughters say and feel about their father’s freedom?

Regardless they are happy that their father is due for release after 5 years of imprisonment. Any child would feel the same way. Ultimately this child has her own narrative. From the time that she entered first grade in September exactly 5 years ago, her father was in prison. This year she enters the 6th grade and her father will come home.

Mr. Mahmoudian came home two weeks ago for only 4 days to tend to his ailing father’s affairs. How is his father doing?

His father isn’t doing well; he is mostly bedridden and has to be fed. Those 4 days were granted only because his father’s health had gravely deteriorated and while out he was only allowed to see his father. Unfortunately his father is not doing well.

Do you have anything else you would like to say?

I would just like all families [of political prisoners] to have some level of happiness; for [authorities] to not cause further distress to the families and to at the very least stand by their own words. Let them hear my voice, that when they say ‘you can go and we will take care of the extension ourselves and will call you when the time comes’ –  to not create problems for the prisoners later. So now after 5 years when he is ready to be released, it is still not clear if he is required to go back or not, if we should accept what we are told or not, if the prison officials will accept what we were told, or not. I am still not very optimistic. But god willing, we will see if he is released on Sepetember 7th or not.   Kaleme http://www.kaleme.com/1393/05/30/klm-195485/


7 detainees in Rajai Shahr prison announce hunger strike

7 prisoners in Rajai Shahr prison launched a hunger strike on Wednesday April 23rd in protest of the violent assault of detainees in Evin prison Ward 350.

 Following is their letter as provided to Kaleme

Noble people of Iran,

The 1979 Revolution was not one event, but rather a long process in line with the demands and needs of the people of Iran. From the constitutional monarchy onwards it was not by chance that the slogans were liberty, justice and freedom; the leading ideal was the right of the people of the nation for sovereignty over their own future. Unfortunately in the years following the victory of the revolution, officials of the country have repeatedly violated the principles enshrined in the constitution relating to the social rights of the people. The judiciary has not only failed to conduct itself responsibly, but in many cases the institution has itself been the perpetrator of these violations of the law.

Attacking political prisoners, inflicting physical and psychological duress on them and their families is not unprecedented. The abuse of political prisoners by judicial authorities has become acceptable and criminal actions by security personnel in the prisons are routine. It is unfortunate that the officials of the regime do not learn a lesson from their actions that procure short-term results ending with long-term losses.

In the past there has been a lack of fair investigations or punishment for illegal and unethical actions such as the murders of the late Zahra Kazemi, Zahra Bani-Yaghoub, Hoda Saber, Sattar Beheshti, and the bitter tragedy of the violations and crimes that took place in Kahrizak detention center. Unfortunately we have not witnessed any fair probe into the violations and actions of the perpetrators of these vicious crimes. While increasing the gap between the regime and the people of the nation, the judicial authorities have become increasingly harsh and rigid in their dealings with prisoners of conscience and political prisoners.

With these circumstances, the events of Black Thursday opened up fresh wounds for the democracy-loving and freedom-seeking people of Iran.

In the wake of one week after the painful and inhumane event that took place in Evin Ward 350 – the vicious beatings resulting in the terrible injuries sustained by the prisoners and their forceful transfer to solitary confinement – no judiciary, administrative or security official has shown any type of responsible behavior. They have refused to accept accountability for these actions by fabricating deceptive lies in the official media outlets including Seda and Sima state television.

The head of the Prison Bureau who is officially responsible not only blatantly denied the events that took place, but he added insult to injury by ridiculing the inmates. The telling silence and lack of reaction on the part of the Minister of Justice and Intelligence Ministry is inexplicable and suspicious. It seems the gentlemen have forgotten the vote of the nation in June 2013 was “no” to lies, lawlessness, corruption and incompetence and “yes” to the demands of Iran’s Green movement.

Hence we, a group of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners from Ward 12 of Rajai Shahr prison in unison with our friends in Ward 350 of Evin prison, have launched a hunger strike beginning Wednesday April 23rd – in protest of the law-breaking behavior of the judicial and security institutions, and reckless actions of those in charge.

Jafar Shahin Eghdami

Reza Entesari

Massoud Bastani

Saeed Razavi Faghih

Mehdi Mahmoudian

Saeed Madani

Mostafa Neeli

Rajai Shahr Prison



7 prisoners Rajai Shahr hunger strike

Ali Akbar Mohammadzadeh and Mehdi Mahmoudian released on furlough

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Mehdi Mahmoudian and Ali Akbar Mohammadadeh were released from prison today August 7th.

According to CHRR, Ali Akbar Mohammadzadeh – student activist and former head of the Islamic Association of Sharif University, and Mehdi Mahmoudian – journalist and human rights activist were granted furlough and released on bail.

Ali Akbar Mohammadzadeh who had been summoned, threated and interrogated several times since 2009, was violently arrested across Sharif University one day before the 25 Bahman (February 14) protests in 2011. The student activist was held in solitary confinement while undergoing harsh interrogations for 54 days. On September 17, 2011 Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati handed Ali Akbar Mohammadzadeh a 6-year prison term which was upheld on November 9, 2011 by Branch 26 of the Tehran Appellate Court presided by judge Zargar. His sentence stemmed from the charges of “illegal gathering and collusion” (5 years) and “propaganda against the regime” (one year).

Mehdi Mahmoudian, is a member of Participation Front, member of Association for the Defense of Political Prisoners, and journalist who played a vital role in exposing the crimes and gross human rights violations that occurred at the now closed Kahrizak Detention Center before and after the contested presidential elections of 2009. He was arrested on September 26, 2009 and spent 70 days in solitary confinement where he was psychologically and physically tortured, after which he was handed a 5-year prison sentence. While incarcerated in Rajai Shahr prison, Mahmoudian wrote reports regarding the deplorable situation of the death row prisoners in the facility. He also wrote letters to Ayatollah Khamenei in which he described the appalling prison conditions and in detail chronicled the abuse and the torture of inmates.


علی‌ اکبر محمد‌زاده و مهدی محمودیان به مرخصی آمدند


Mohammadzadeh & Mahmoudian

Shiva Nazarahari returned to prison

Committee of Human Rights Reporters –  Shiva Nazarahari, human rights activist, founder and former head of Committee of Human Rights Reporters, returned to Evin prison today May 2, 2013.

According to CHRR, Nazarahari who had not requested prison leave was arbitrarily granted a second furlough on May 1st (mother’s day). She was contacted by personnel from the judicial authority and required to present herself back at Evin prison today.

This member of CHRR was first granted temporary release on March 13 for the Nowruz holidays after enduring 184 days behind bars without furlough. She returned to Evin prison after one month.

On December 20, 2009, Shiva Nazarahri was arrested while she was on a bus with other activists intending to attend the funeral of the late dissident cleric Ayatollah Montazeri. She was handed a 4-year prison sentence and 74 lashes on the charges of “moharebeh” (enmity with God), “propaganda against the regime,” and “illegal gathering with the intent of disturbing national security.” She turned herself in at Evin prison to serve her prison sentence on September 8, 2012.

In the past days, a number of political prisoners who had been on furlough were summoned back to prison. Bahare Hedayat, women’s and student rights activist turned herself in at Evin prison to serve the remaining of her 9.5-year prison sentence. Journalists Masoud Bastani and Bahman Amouie were summoned back to Rajai Shahr prison and ordered to present themselves at the facility tomorrow. Both of their spouses, journalists Mahsa Amrabadi and Jila Baniyaghoub are held behind bars at Evin prison.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that all political prisoners who were on furlough have been summoned to return to prison. Ahmad Zeidabadi and Mehdi Mahmoudian are among those handed a summons by the judiciary with an order to return to prison in the next few days.


Shiva Nazarahari returned to prison

شیوا نظر آهاری به زندان اوین بازگشت

Shiva Nazarahari