FILE PHOTO/An Iranian teacher holds a placard which reads: "Silence. Silence. The national media has gone to pick flowers" during a rally in front of the parliament building in Tehran. REUTERS./

By Kayhan Life Staff

Authorities transferred Jafar Ebrahimi, an imprisoned Iranian teacher, to a hospital in Tehran on Nov. 15, where he was reportedly chained to a bed for 12 days while receiving medical care.

In an open letter to Mohammad Hamidi-Rod, the deputy judicial officer of Tehran’s Evin Prison, Mr. Ebrahimi described his treatment by the prison authorities while in the hospital as “physical and psychological torture.”

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The following is the text of Jafar Ebrahimi’s letter to Mr. Hamidi-Rod:

To the attention of the Deputy Judicial Officer of Tehran’s Evin Prison, Mr. Hamidi:

I am Jafar Panahi, a teacher and a political prisoner who was transferred to a hospital on Nov. 15 to receive medical treatment. I am still in the hospital and paying my medical bills out of my pocket.

I cannot see my lawyer, wife, and other family members or speak to them on the phone. I have been chained to my hospital bed since being admitted.

Conditions here are worse than in my prison cell. Therefore, I request that the ban on meeting or contacting my family and lawyer be lifted so that they can visit me at the hospital.

There is no reason why I should be chained to my bed, given that two soldiers and a police colonel guard me around the clock, so I ask that the chains be removed.

These conditions unquestionably qualify as physical and psychological torture for a prisoner suffering from poor health and needing a tranquil environment to improve his health.

These [conditions] disrupt the healing process and will endanger my health. If that happens, those who have created these inhumane conditions will face the consequences.

Also sent to: Tehran Prison General Administration, the head of the security unit for Evin Prison.

Friday, Nov. 25

Agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested Jafar Ebrahimi on Apr. 30, a day before International Workers’ Day on May 1. A court upheld his five-year prison sentence on Nov. 27.

Ebrahimi was part of a broader court case against several union activists accused of working with two French teachers whom the Ministry of Intelligence arrested on espionage charges.

The Ministry of Intelligence arrested Cecile Kohler, 37, and her partner Jacques Paris, 69, in May at Imam Khomeini Airport. They are both members of the federation of teachers’ unions in France.

Iranian state TV broadcast a report alleging that the couple had links to the protesting teachers and members of the teachers’ union in Iran. The authorities accused the two of trying to “incite unrest.”

The indictment also included:

  • Jafar Ebrahimi, Rasul Bedaghi, and Mohammad Habibi (all members of the Teachers’ Trade Association).
  • Eskandar Lotfi, Mohsen Omrani, Reza Shahabi, Reyhaneh Ansarinejad (all members of the Workers’ Union).
  • Anisha Asdollahi (a translator).
  • Keyvan Mohtadi (a member of the Iranian Writers’ Association).

They have all been in prison since their arrest.

Jafar Ebrahimi, Rasul Bedaghi, Mohammad Habibi, Reza Shahabi, and Hassan Saeedi (a Workers’ Union member) received prison sentences in October.

Jafar Ebrahimi was sentenced to four years for “unlawful assembly” and “collusion” and given an additional one-year prison sentence for “propaganda against the state.”

Rasul Bedaghi was sentenced to six years and four months for “unlawful assembly” and “collusion.” He also received a one-year sentence for “propaganda against the state.”

Mohammad Habibi was sentenced to three years and seven months for “unlawful assembly” and “collusion” and given an additional one-year prison sentence for “propaganda against the state.”

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They are all banned from traveling abroad or participating in trade union activities for two years.

Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court handed prison sentences to Reza Shahabi and Hassan Saeedi, both members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, for “unlawful assembly,” “collusion,” and “propaganda against the state.”

Link to the Farsi page


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