Judge Salavati Denies Temporary Release Request for Mohammad Yousefi
The latest news from student activist Mohammad Yousefi, who has been imprisoned since December 7, 2009, is that his and his family’s repeated requests for a bail ruling or for a period of furlough have been denied by Judge Salavati. According to news received by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Mohammad Yousefi’s family went to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Courts to meet with Judge Salavati, but were not allowed to see him. Yousefi is currently in Ward 350 of Evin Prison. His attorney has not yet been served the court ruling in which his client was sentenced to four years in prison. This student activist’s charge has been stated as “congregation and mutiny aiming to act against national security.” His file has not been sent to the appeals court yet.
Mohammad Yousefi was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence agents on the night of December 7, 2009, as he was trying to enter the Amir Kabir University campus. He was first transferred to Ministry of Intelligence’s Follow-Up Unit near the campus. That same night he was moved to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, where he spent some time under severe pressure and continuous interrogations by Ministry of Intelligence interrogators.
An informed source shared his knowledge about Yousefi’s arrest, charges, and his prison conditions with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran: “The interrogators had threatened him during this time that if he did not cooperate with them and did not confess to what they were asking him, his family would be put under pressure. He was led to believe during that time that his sister was also in detention and that she was being interrogated in the room next door. Mohammad Yousefi’s initial charges were “propagation against the regime” “and congregation and mutiny aiming to act against national security.” He was exonerated from the charge of “propagation against the regime” in his initial trial and was sentenced to four years in prison for “congregation and mutiny aiming to act against national security.” During his interrogation sessions and his trial session, he was under immense pressure for his friendship with Majid Tavakoli. Judge Salavati
has questioned him specifically for this friendship, referring to Majid Tavakoli as “Miss Tavakoli.”
Tavakoli and Mohammadi are both ship-building students at Tehran Polytechnic University and were attending some of their practical courses in Bandar Abbas port. The two students were roommates at Amir Kabir University’s Bandar Abbas dormitories. Amir Kabir ship-building students spend one of their four years of education in Bandar Abbas. Yousefi is currently in Ward 350 of Evin Prison. He has spent his detention time in Ward 209, Quarantine Unit of Ward 7, and Ward 350 of Evin. Also, prior to moving Dr. Maleki from Ward 350 (a few days before Maleki was released), he was Dr. Maleki’s companion and assisted him with his personal tasks [75-year-old Dr. Maleki’s physical condition was extremely poor during his detention.] Many of the people who shared cells with him have been released permanently or are on furlough. Considering that two political prisoners from Ward 350 were released over the past couple of days after their charges were reviewed and they were sentenced to imprisonment by Branch 15 of Revolutionary Courts, there is renewed hope among Yousefi’s family and friends that he, too, might be granted furlough leave.
This informed source has also told the Campaign that Mohammad Yousefi suffers from asthma and continues to have a very hard time with his asthma in Ward 350, but his general physical state is good. After receiving his heavy and unfair sentence of four years in prison, he did not have a good psychological state, but slowly and through his friends’ and cellmates’ efforts, his condition improved. During the Iranian New Year holidays, as many of his cellmates were released or allowed furlough leave, and considering his prolonged detention, and concerns for his family and especially his mother, he was in poor psychological health. Even so, after their last meeting with him during the recent days, his family have described his psychological state as good.