Wednesday, October 28, 2009

'We'll crush you, we won't let you leave the prison as a hero': prisoner Ahmad Zeidabadi denied basic rights, says wife

Ahmad Zeidabadi, journalist and secretary general of the national alumni association, Advareh Tahkimeh Vahdat, has been in prison for over four months and his family has been unable to see him for over 40 days. Radio Farda's Mania Mansour spoke to Mahdiyeh Mohammadi, Zeidabadi's wife, in an interview broadcast on the morning show of Wednesday, October 28, 2009. A translation of the interview follows.

Listen to the interview. Begins at 19:25 mark. 

Mahdiyeh Mohammadi:
We haven't seen Mr. Zeidabadi or even heard his voice in 43 days. Last week, I met with the prosecutor and he said, We've told the prison not to prevent any visits and that even murderers should be able to see their families. I asked him to write out a visit permit and he acceded to my request. Yesterday, when we went there, we filled out a visitor card and the official did not respond to us from 9 AM to noon. Then we waited for another three hours, from noon until 3 PM, and even got as far as the visiting room and sat behind the glass screen. We sat with the hope that they would bring Mr. Zeidabadi. Then at 3 PM, they told us that his interrogator had not given his permission for the visit. In practice, there is no law. The interrogator had deny the prosecutor's order. The interrogator can trample the law. The interrogator can bring any pressure he wants on the accused to make him illegaly accept the charges against him.

Mania Mansour:
Did they give any reason for denying the visit?

Mahdiyeh Mohammadi:
Not at all. He didn't give any reason. In our last visit, Mr. Zeidabadi told us that they had brought back his initial interrogator who used to beat him. I don't know who this man is. Whoever he is, he is a very violent person and is allowed to do as he pleases. A person who disregards the prosecutor's orders does not submit to any law. In our last visit, Mr. Zeidabadi told us that the interrogator had said, We'll crush you, we won't let you leave the prison as a hero. Mr. Zeidabadi has not committed any illegal act. None of the charges apply to him and that's what he's saying. 'These charges do not apply to me. I've done nothing illegal.'

Mania Mansour:
Have they scheduled another visit?

Mahdiyeh Mohammadi:
Absolutely not. I sat there with three sick children for six hours to obtain this! I told them, I don't want a visit. I waited for six hours there, with all that strees and pressure... All the innocent families endure this. I don't want another visit. I just want to know whether Mr. Zeidabadi is alive or dead. That's all.

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