Hessam Firouzi’s condition at Evin
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Mahta Bordbar, wife of Hessam Firouzi reported on the worrisome condition of her husband. Firouzi is an independent human rights activist and blogger who has been imprisoned since March 3, 2010. His wife said he has had no political activities over the past two years and has solely focused on his medical career.
Mahta Bordbar said that she was able to talk to her husband for 30 minutes on March 21,2010, after two weeks of no news about him. She said she is concerned about Dr. Hessam Firouzi’s health as during her last meeting with him, she noticed he had lost about 20 Kg.
Mahta. Bordbar is also considered a close relative of Alireza Firouzi, a university student who is currently in prison. She has also expressed concern about Alireza Firouzi’s conditions. The interview text follows:
Campaign: When was your last meeting with Hessam Firouzi and how did you find him?
Last week we received news that the Prosecutor had allowed visits with prisoners who are normally banned from having visitors. We received a call from the Prosecutor’s Office, telling us that we could meet with Hessam on Sunday, March 21, 2010. We were able to see him for the first time 17 days after his arrest. What was very strange was that during those 17 days he had lost about 1/3 of his body weight. I think he has lost between 15 and 20 Kg. which was very worrisome to me. He kept emphasizing that I shouldn’t interview with anyone and if I wanted to share information about him to be sure and tell everyone that he is not involved in politics. His profession is child psychology and child development and his job is to do research and write.
Campaign: What are his charges and what is the situation with his legal case?
I am not sure about the situation with his legal case and he was not in a position to provide much detail. My husband has not been involved in any activities over the past two years and he has been busy with his medical career. He was active in pre-school education of children and was only involved in his profession of psychology. No organization has taken responsibility for providing me with information about his situation. I keep going to Revolutionary Courts and Evin prison. During the 29 days since my husband’s arrest, I must have written 29 letters to the Revolutionary Courts and Evin prison, asking them about my husband’s charges, but no one answers me. Even when an individual is focused in his professional career and does not involve himself in any activities and doesn’t make any noise, he is arrested and there is no accountability. I am interviewing and providing information only because we have no platforms from which to be heard.
Campaign: When was your last contact with him?
Today it has been 12 days since the last time I heard from him. Since last Thursday when we talked, there has been no way for contacting him. It was our wedding anniversary yesterday. I wrote a letter, begging to have at least a one minute visit with him, so I could talk to him. They not only didn’t agree to my request, they cut off his phone privileges and I don’t know where to go to seek help. Wherever I go, I am faced with a soldier who says [the case] is not related to us or that the related authorities are not available. Is our Judiciary managed by a soldier who only answers that there are no authorities in the office or that he doesn’t have any information?
Campaign: When and how was Mr. Firouzi arrested?
My husband was arrested on the night of March 2, 2010. We weren’t home and my husband had gone home to do something when 14 security officers arrested him. We had no knowledge of his arrest. My sister went to look in on him and after 10 minutes her cell phone was turned off, too. We knew of the senseless arrests, so we became concerned. I am not good with political literature; I don’t even know what not to say in order to avoid legal problems. Anyway, there was a probability of an arrest, so I contacted the neighbors and found out what was happening. In the end, at about 2:00 a.m., after searching our home they took my husband with them. This story has other details, too. For example, they also arrested our neighbor’s son at the same time and some other things happened, too. The arresting officers had emphasized that Hessam’s wife should not find out that they had arrested him!
I don’t have any information about his charges and I can’t even guess what they may be, because he has not had any activities over the past two years, unless they want to fabricate charges against him. His activities are completely legal and within the field of medicine. He has had some correspondence with the authorities to consider an individual’s risky health. This might be his only crime, if this is a crime. My request from the authorities is to treat people kindly. This is not only my request for my husband. Imprisonment and punishment should be the last step to deal with people and solitary confinement and forced confessions shouldn’t be used for treating people just because they disagree. Instead of arresting people before a crime has been committed, they should investigate and figure out whether a crime has taken place or not. Does Islamic law, which represents the religion of kindness say this? I speak with my own simple language and I’m concerned that what I’m saying might pose a legal problem.
Campaign: What do you know about the condition of Alireza Firouzi, Dr. Firouzi’s nephew, who is also in detention?
Alireza’s situation is just as ambiguous as his uncle’s. We don’t know what his charge is. We didn’t have any information about him for 70 whole days and they wouldn’t even acknowledge that they had arrested him. Alireza is a 20-year-old young man who participated in different Olympiad competitions because of his high IQ. He received a commendation from the Kharazmi Scientific Festival. Is it right to accuse the country’s brilliant minds of political affiliations just because they object to an immoral act by a university professor? When this happened at Zanjan University, the whole incident was turned political and they arrested a lot of people.
Hessam Firouzi, born in 1972, is a graduate of Shiraz Medical School. He is an independent human rights activist and blogger. He was arrested on March 3, 2010 and transferred to Evin Prison. Three days after his arrest he contacted his wife and informed her of his detention in Ward 209 of Evin Prison. On March 3, 2010, security forces went to Firouzi’s house and after searching the premises, they transferred him and his sister-in-law (mother of Alireza Firouzi) to Evin pPrison. Hessam Firouzi has been the physician of many political prisoners. Previously, he was arrested in March 2009 to serve his six-month prison term.
His nephew, Alireza Firouzi, who is a journalist and a blogger was arrested on January 2, 2010 in Oroumiyeh and is currently at Evin prison. Alireza Firouzi was arrested three times last year.