Three months after his arrest Alireza Firoozi has yet to be charged and remains in limbo in Tehran’s Evin Prison, according to his mother.
RAHANA – Blogger and student activist, Alireza Firoozi was arrested on January 2 in the north-western city of Orumieh. He was taken to Tehran where he was held incommunicado for over 70 days with judiciary officials refusing all along to inform his family about his whereabouts.
RAHANA talked to Alireza’s mother Mahnaz Bordbar about the latest developments in his case.
RAHANA – What can you tell us about Alireza Firoozi’s current situation?
Mahnaz – A few days after the New Year and 3 months after his arrest we were finally allowed to visit with him for half an hour. Alireza is currently held in a ward 2A cell he shares with another prisoner. During the visit he was in general good condition but it is not clear when he will be released.
RAHANA – What is he accused of?
Mahnaz – Three months after his arrest, no specific charge has been brought up against him and we are not aware why he is still detained. Some websites have reported that Alireza is one of the defendants in the case related to human rights activists arrested last month. There were even reports that suggested he had been questioned and interrogated in connection to that case. I want to say here that all such reports are pure lies. Alireza is not a member of the HRAI and any report claiming otherwise is pure lie.
During the visit we had with him in prison and after he heard about it, Alireza denied being a member of that group [HRAI] or any other group for that matter.
RAHANA – In the last days of 1388, it was said that Alireza Firoozi and a few other Zanjan University students were sentenced to 1 ½ year in prison. Do you have any news of the sentence?
Mahnaz – I don’t understand from where these reports come out. Alireza has not received any sentence in the last days of 1388. We saw the report of him being handed a one year sentence on some websites and we hereby strongly deny it.
RAHANA – How do you follow-up on his case? Has his lawyer been able to visit with him or review his file?
Mahnaz – No, we cannot follow-up on his case (because) no one is accountable. During the first 70 days when he was detained in Evin no one answered to us and authorities maintained that they were not aware of his presence (in Evin). The only time we were allowed to visit with Alireza was in the beginning of the current year when the prosecutor authorized prison visits for those prisoners who were previously banned from visits.
His lawyer, Mr. Dadkhah has not been allowed to visit with him and it is not clear which court or branch we can go to follow-up.
RAHANA – From what you say, his release seems unlikely and judicial authorities have not made any comments.
Mahnaz – As I said, the matter remains absolutely uncertain and Alireza waits in prison limbo. We want him to be released and come back home as soon as possible.