Breaking the Language Barrier on Human Rights

Arash Sadeghi Talks with Reformist Journalist after Prison Release

October 28, 2013

Arash Sadeghi before (left) and after prison

An Interview with Arash Sadeghi by Masih Alinejad  – Audio File (FA)

Translation by Siavosh Jalili, Persian2English

Masih Alinejad (MA): Mr. Sadeghi, following the statement by Mr. Eje’i, the [Islamic Republic’s Judiciary Spokesperson], [which denied your imprisonment in Evin], there were much doubts surrounding your whereabouts. I am very glad to see you *free. Can you tell us where you were being held? In which section?
Arash Sadeghi (AS): I was in sections 209 and 240 of Evin Prison. For a period of time, I was held in the basement of section 209.

M.A:Why have they denied your imprisonment? Why didn’t anyone see you?
A.S: About not seeing me, I don’t know. [When authorities were holding me] in cell #92, I was with two other prisoners. [Aside from that, authorities kept me] in solitary confinement.

M.A:During the time you were in cell [#92], who else was with you?
A.S: There was a man called “Mehran”, and there was another [man] whose name I do not remember exactly. They seem to be members of [the Islamic Republic’s] security forces detained for a long time. 

M.A:Your family was not aware of your status and whereabouts either. Didn’t they visit you [in prison]? When was the last time you had a visit with your family?
A.S: The last time [authorities allowed me] a visit with my family was in November 2012, when [they] allowed my father to visit me. 

M.A:What was the issue with your case during this period? Why did they keep you in solitary confinement for such a long period of time? How were the charges against you different from other Green Movement activists?

A.S: One of the [charges the interrogators] mentioned was our plan to organize a gathering in front of [Allameh] Tabatabai University in February 2012. A second charge [they mentioned] was about a meeting we had with Mr.  [Mohammad] Maleki at his home. In that meeting we discussed an active boycott of the 2012 Parliamentary election. Another issue [they mentioned] had to do with my mother [who died following a raid on the family home in the middle of the night by security forces]. My interrogators have asked my family to withdraw the complaint against [the Ministry of Intelligence]. Some of my friends who are closer to the case are aware of this. The coroner report confirmed that my mother had no heart problem and it was [the raid] that had resulted in the shock and a cardiac arrest that led to her death. I was charged with “Collusion and conspiracy against the regime” and “Propaganda against the regime”. To my disbelief and shock, I was released on bail. The primary bail was set at [approximately] $100,000 [USD], but when my  family attempted to post bail, they were told it was set at [approximately] $170,000 USD. There were additional attempts made [by authorities] to sabotage my family’s efforts to post bail and secure my release, but [my family] finally managed to do so. 

M.A:So, they informed the family to come and pick you up in front of Evin Prison?
S.A: Sorry, I cannot hear you well.

M.A: I would like to know when were you released?
S.A: I was released on Saturday, October. 12, [2013] at 9 PM [Tehran time]. 

M.A:And [prison officials] had informed your family to come [and pick you up] in front of Evin Prison at that time?
S.A: Yes, [the authorities] they had informed the family, but my family does not have the financial means to make the trip so they contacted one of our relatives who arranged for me to be picked up.

Persian2English Note: *Free from prison, however Arash Sadeghi is under tight control by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Arash Sadeghi is still in danger. The international community should do what they can to protect him.

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