Journalist Siyamak Ghaderi has been incarcerated in Evin prison over a year and a half without being allowed use of furlough for even a day.
Ghaderi was arrested August 2009 and was tried and convicted in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Moghayesheh. He was convicted on charges of propaganda against the regime,
publishing and spreading lies, and disturbing the public.
One of Ghaderi’s main charges was writing on his blog “Irnaye ma” (our IRNA), where he criticized the officials at IRNA news agency (the official news agency). He also wrote about the Greene Movement and it’s leaders.
Ghaderi’s wife Farzaneh Mirvand in an interview with Kalameh speaks about his latest status, her problems as a political prisoner’s wife and their only child.
She stresses that her husband was tortured in Ward 209 of Evin but authorities have paid no attention to their complaints about the tortures.
Tell us about your husband’s physical and mental status
Thanks to God he is fine now, he only misses being at home with his family
Tell us about the time he was in Ward 209; apparently you had no news from him for a long period of time
Even thinking about the days that my husband was in Ward 209 is very difficult for me. He was in solitary confinement for 34 days under harsh interrogations, was blindfolded, beaten up with a baton and threatened in order to force him to give a false confession.
At one of his interrogation sessions, an interrogator slapped him on his face so hard that he and the chair he was sitting in hit the ground. My husband is still suffering from the injury to his neck that he suffered during that fall.
Have you filed a complaint with the judicial authorities about this incident?
Yes, for these pressures and other violations. I have gone to every place I could and have told the authorities about them, but they just laughed at me.
Even during his trial, my husband told the judge about his tortures, but he, without paying any attention to my husband’s remarks, issued a verdict based on the false confessions taken from my husband .
I even wrote to the Islamic Human Rights Council, telling them about my husband’s tortures, but the only reply I received from them was that they had received the letter and my request was logged in.
My husband was in Ward 209 of Evin (high security) for nine months and the interrogators were telling him that if he does not give them a false confession they won’t transfer him to public Ward 350.
Like most of the political prisoners and the detained journalists, Mr. Ghaderi’s main charge was propaganda against the regime, was this the reason they fired him from IRNA?
Yes, they fired him from his job of 18 years, while his case was still in court and not yet decided. However, given the fact that the plaintiff in this case is Mr. Javanfekr (head of IRANA), one of Ahmadinejad’s senior advisors, their action was not very surprising.
Was your husband’s sentence finally confirmed? In your previous interviews you said your husband is incarcerated without a final verdict and is in prison without being sentenced
Yes, about two weeks ago the Appeals Court upheld his four year prison sentence and my husband was informed of the verdict. He immediately requested a hearing, however we already know what the results will be.
Mr. Ghaderi has been incarcerated for a year and a half without being allowed the use of furlough, has he, like other political prisoners have been denied furlough for no reason at all?
To answer your question, I have to say, I have no idea, but the Public Prosecutor’s recent denial of a furlough for my husband, makes us believe that all these decisions and the his unjust sentence of three years on charges of
assembly and collusion, plus one year for propaganda and publishing of lies goes back to the animosity and the differing view points between my husband and Mr. Dowlatabadi (the Public Prosecutor) from the time they worked together.
How else can you explain this that when, eight months ago, I told Mr. Dowlatabadi my husband’s condition without mentioning his name, his reply was that my husband has the right to use of a furlough and he told the soldier present there to provide me with the furlough request form. However, when I started filling out the form, he asked my husband’s name, and as soon as he heard “Siyamak Ghaderi” he became outraged and exclaimed “No, no, don’t write it, it’s too early for him to be released”.
Particularly, when I remember that the Prosecutor had requested the heavy sentence of twenty years banned from journalism profession, twenty years banned from leaving the country and being exiled to Iranshahr for his prison term for my husband, this further strengthened the thought that the Prosecutor’s actions are based on a personal grudge with my husband.
So Mr. Ghaderi, as part of his sentence has been banned from his profession and is to be exiled for his prison term?
No, fortunately despite the Prosecutor’s request none of these were included in my husband’s verdict.
As a political prisoner’s wife, what is your own condition and what kind of problems do you encounter now?
I can only tell you that it is very hard. One of the smallest and least important problems that I face now is financial hardship. I struggle with this situation and sometimes it becomes so difficult that I can only pray to God to give me strength to endure these problems. Especially that my son misses his father very much.
How is your son doing?
My son Ali is very patient and he is an introvert, but recently, especially since school started in September and he can see his father less, he has been acting a bit strange.
One day he said something that really brought pain to my heart. He said, “I am starting to forget what my father looks like, lately when I have a dream about him, I don’t see his face anymore”. After this I decided to put a picture of his father on the refrigerator so he can see his face all the time.
After Ali heard that his father has requested furlough, he performed prayers every night for it to be approved. He was very optimistic that this would happen. He said that, even if his father is granted just one day of furlough, he has many plans for that day.
For days, I didn’t tell him that the furlough request had been denied. When he heard the news of the denial, he locked himself in his room for hours.
Overall it’s not a good situation, he is a teenager and has his own specific needs according to his age. I am maybe a very good mother, but I can not replace the role of his father.
We have heard that the authorities have asked Mr. Ghaderi to write a letter requesting pardon so he can be released ahead of his full terms sentence, but he has denied their request. Is this so, and if so why?
Yes, when they informed my husband of his sentence they asked him to write a letter requesting pardon, but my husband refused saying he has not committed any crime to request a pardon.
Apart from this, in our religion, forgiveness is an admirable and beautiful act, but in which one of the Islamic texts does it mention that a written request required for being forgiven? Unless the act of forgiveness is for propaganda purpose only and not an act for pleasing God.
As a political prisoner’s wife you must have suffered a lot of hardships, however even during times of hardships there can be good times also, can you tell us your best memory?
I can not recall a specific memory, but I, like you, believe that in every hardship there also is a blessing. I could say that, perhaps all this has caused intellectual development and a change in my point of view, that is the best thing that has happened to me during this time.
What do you personally request from the Judicial authorities?
I have no request for them, our lives are being steered by a much greater power.