Siyamak Ghaderi, former reporter for the Islamic Republic news agency (IRNA), was convicted on charges of publishing lies, propaganda against the system, insulting the president and the Judiciary Chief and religiously unlawful acts. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison plus 80 lashes.
Also, a source close to the family of imprisoned activist Sayed Mohamad Ebrahimi in an interview with Roozonline revealed Ebrahimi’s poor mental health in prison and pressure on his family by security agents while his only crime was his humanitarian work.
Sayed Mohamad Ebrahimi was arrested December 2010 and was charged with conspiring and acting against the national security.
Ebrahimi was the liaison between the martyr families and Mir Housein Mousavi. Families that had lost their children and family members during the post-election unrest and protests.
A source close to Ebrahimi says, “Mohamad’s only crime was visiting and helping the families that had lost loved ones. He helped them in anyway that he could and was there to console them. This is why they arrested him and for this he has now been in prison for months. It seems like, in our country, offering sympathy and support to bereaved mothers is a crime.”
He adds, “We were shocked to hear that Mohamad was charged with conspiracy to act against national security. Does visiting mothers who has lost their young ones or visiting the children who have lost their father constitute a crime?
Do these acts really pose such a danger to our national security that they put so much pressure on Mohamad that he may end up in an insane asylum?”
This source close to Ebrahimi’s family explains, “Mohamad’s wife is under extreme pressure, they have summoned and interrogated her many times. For this reason she has remained silent and Mohamad is left in prison to suffer without any help.
As Mousavi’s representative, Mohamad would identify the lesser known martyrs and would console and help their families. This was his only crime.
Now Mohamad has become one of the lesser known prisoners that was in solitary confinement under extreme pressure and torture for months. His mental status deteriorated so severely that they moved him to Aminabad psychiatric hospital. He was in that hospital for 34 days before they moved back to prison.
After they moved him to ward 350 his father died. When he was notified of his father’s death, he took it so hard that he went into a convulsion. He takes 24 pills a day, very strong medicine with harsh side effects.
All this time they would not allow him even a 1 day furlough. They would not even allow him to attend his father’s funeral to say his last goodbyes to his father.”
According to this source, Ebrahimi has again been moved back to ward 209 (high security) from ward 350. He had just started to do some exercises with the help of other prisoners in ward 350. They really helped and supported him emotionally but they have once again transferred him back to ward 209 for more interrogations.
We really don’t understand the purpose of these interrogations. They interrogated him for 7 months, they took him to a psychiatric hospital and then they moved him back to prison. What other information do they want from him? What does Mohamad have to tell them that they are once again interrogating him in ward 209?
What crimes has he committed? Is offering sympathy and support to mothers of martyrs a crime? If so, then they should include it in the penal code, that offering sympathy to the bereaved mothers of martyrs is a crime in our country.”
A journalist charged with “religiously unlawful act”
Former IRNA reporter Siyamak Ghaderi’s wife says her husband has been convicted of religiously unlawful act and was sentenced to prison and lashings for interviewing and reporting on homosexuals.
Siyamak Ghaderi was arrested on July 27, 2010 at his place of residence. He was charged with publishing lies, propaganda against the system, insulting the president and the Judiciary Chief, religiously prohibited acts and disturbing the public.
He was sentenced to 4 years in prison, monetary fines and 80 lashes. He is currently in ward 350 of Evin prison.
Siyamak Ghaderi’s wife Farzaneh Mirvand said she had a visit with her husband yesterday and says he is in good spirits. She says, “My husband has not had even 1 day of furlough granted. I have gone to the Public Prosecutions office numerous times to request furlough for him but have not received any answers from them.
I once accidentally came across the Public Prosecutor Mr. Jafari-Dowlatabadi. I explained my husband’s overall situation and told him my husband has been kept in prison on the initial detentions order which was issued for 2 months without it having been renewed.
He was surprised and asked if my husband has been given furlough at all? I replied, no, he has not. He then told me to take a form from the soldier on duty and fill it out. He said he will sign it and will order that the matter be followed.
However, as soon as I received the form he asked what my husband’s name was. When I told him Siyamak Ghaderi, the Prosecutor asked, that journalist? He then said, it’s not necessary to fill out the form, give it back, he has committed horrible things, he has to stay in prison for a long time, he has to stay for at least another 2 years before you can request anything.”
Mrs. Mirzavand adds, “According to law, any prisoner, even a political prisoner has the right to use furlough after serving one sixth of their sentence. But as soon as the Public Prosecutor heard my husband’s name he said that he has to stay in prison for two years before I can request furlough. After that conversation I again made furlough requests to no avail.
My husband is a journalist, he has not done anything other than reporting. They fired him from his job at IRNA after working there for 18 years. They filtered his site 13 times and then arrested him, saying he had participated in the protests.
I ask, how can a journalist write a report of a protest unless he is there to witness it? It is not a crime for a reporter to be present at the scene of protests for the purpose of reporting.”
After Mr. Ahmadinejad’s comments at Columbia university denying the existence of any homosexuals in Iran, Mr. Ghaderi interviewed a number of homosexuals and prepared a report. Those Interviews brought the charge of “religiously unlawful acts” for this journalist.
His wife says, “We are extremely upset at this situation. It is the height of injustice to sentence him to 4 years in prison and give him 80 lashes on such charges.
My husband, as a journalist, interviewed a number of homosexuals. When they arrested him and charged him with religiously unlawful acts, they told him he is himself one of them and his interactions with them was not for reporting. They also arrested a number of the people that my husband had interviewed.”
Mrs. Ghaderi adds, “My husband was praised many times for his reports at IRNA. Once he went under cover as a drug trafficker and went to Khake Sefid area to prepare a report on the drug dealings in that area.
His report caused the police to investigate and make number of arrests. Now does this mean that my husband is a drug dealer? He only did his work in his profession.
Same is true with his interviews with the homosexuals. He was able to obtain their trust so they would give him an interview. Does that mean that my husband is a homosexual?
I remember that Kayhan newspaper did an article in which they printed my husband’s name and information on his identification, they accused him of being a homosexual. Kayhan accused him of being sympathetic to homosexual causes.
We never said anything, when a newspaper is so ignorant of the journalism profession and does not understand that a journalist interviews many in various spectrums to prepare his reports. What can we say when they don’t know that a journalist reporting on a cause does not necessary mean approving or disapproving it.”