It is 66 days since the launch of hunger strike by Dr. Mehdi Khazali imprisoned in the Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209 of Evin prisonm but the Intelligence Ministry continues to prevent his release.
Although it has been one week since the judges ordered the release of Dr. Khazali on bail , and the bail has been posted for his release. But the interrogators, with the cooperation of Dr. Khazali’s youngest brother, Alireza Khazali, have pressed new charges against him.
Concerns have grown for the physical well being of Dr. Khazali due to his prolonged hunger strike.
Yesterday, Dr. Khazali’s son posted a note on his Facebook page, “Today was Dad’s 63rd day on hunger strike. At 6 o’clock in the afternoon the house phone rang. I answered:
It was a voice that was a testament to 63 days of hunger strike, and a dad so weak that he could hardly stand on his feet after all this time on hunger strike. After only after a few minutes of conversation, said: “My legs are weak, I can no longer stand, so I will say goodbye”.
Dr. Khazali has been incarcerated in a small cell lacking the basic facilities for more than four months. Despite his release-on-bail order issued about two months ago, and a new Judge’s order for his release on bail issued last week, he continues to be incarcerated.
Last week in an interview with Kalameh, Dr. Khazali’s son Mohamad Saleh said, “According to Judge Ahmadzadeh, my father should have been released on bail December 30, 2012. Despite my mother having gone many times to the offices of the Judiciary & the Intelligence Ministry’s offices, this release-on-bail order was kept from us until now. My father has been kept in incarceration illegally for more than two months.
Yesterday the Revolutionary Court sent the release order to prison officials, but last night as we waited for hours for his release, it never did happen.
Today (last week Thursday), while we had visitation with my father in prison, they told us of the receipt of his release order at four in the afternoon the previous day. However, at that same time the Intelligence Ministry pressed new charges, thus preventing his release.”
Mehdi Khazali’s interrogator at the first interrogation session threatened Dr. Khazali telling him, “I will make so much trouble for you that you won’t have time to even scratch your head.”
According to reports, with methods totally outside of the normal legal processes, the interrogators and the intelligence apparatuses have so far filed 20 different cases against Dr. Khazali.
In doing so, the interrogators have solicited and received help from Ayatollah Khazali’s family. They have received help from Dr. Khazali’s brother, Alireza who is a supporter of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Alireza Khazali, with the help of one of his friends, has filed a complaint against Dr. Khazali and signed it as a witness.
Last October, Mehdi Khazali posted a note on his blog denouncing his brother’s financial corruption and in it, he spoke of the threats he had received from his brother.
Mehdi Khazali, born in 1965, is a blogger, an ophthalmologist, Director of Hayan publishing and the founder of Abasaleh Cultural Institute and Publishing.
In recent years, Dr. Khazali has been one of the harshest critics of president Mahmoud Ahmadinjead and posted many articles on his personal blog criticizing Ahmadinejad, many of which were published internationally.
He was arrested for the first time after the disputed presidential election of 2009. Dr. Khazali is currently in prison on his 5th arrest.