Exiling Political Prisoners – A New Way to Put Pressure on Families
Majid Dorri, a student activist, has been sentenced to exile at Izeh Prison. His brother, Mojtaba Dorri, spoke with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran about his brother’s exile sentence: “They never gave us his written verdict, but his sentence was initially two to five years in prison. The charges they brought against him were ‘participation in gatherings,’ and ‘relations with the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization.’ We do not accept these charges. In his several letters to many authorities, Majid expressed his abhorrence for opposition groups, particularly the MEK, saying that he has never belonged to any group or party. He said this charge, especially for relations with the MEK, will not stick.”
Majid Dorri, a member of the Right to Education Council, was initially sentenced to 11 years in prison by a lower court. The sentence was reduced to six years in prison by an appeals court. Dorri was first arrested during post-election events on 22 June 2009. The Allameh Tabatabaee student activist had previously received a six-month “deprivation from education” ruling. He was arrested for the second time on 9 July 2009 in Qazvin. Dorri was sentenced to one year in prison for “actions against national security through participation in illegal gatherings,” and to six years in prison for the charge of “relations with the MEK,” five years of which he must serve at Izeh Prison.
“Though Majid is a very resilient individual, he is in a bad psychological state after hearing this ruling. No matter how resilient a person is, some things are really upsetting. Of course he is aware that if he talks about prison mistreatment, he would be put under more pressure. He is also careful not to upset our aging parents, so he won’t talk about the pressures he is under in prison. But he is anemic and suffers from migraine headaches. He was in solitary confinement for two months and he has not been granted a furlough leave since 9 July 2009. I would like to emphasize that Majid and our family deny any connection to any party, political group, opposition group, and especially the MEK,” said Mojtaba Dorri.
In addition to Majid Dorri, several other prisoners have received exile sentences in the form of orders to spend all or part of their sentences in towns other than their places of residence.
“There is no evidence to prove the charge of relations with the MEK. Majid and a few of his friends were only active in the Right to Education Council. They went to a few gatherings in front of the university or organizations related to the Ministry of Higher Education, but during the time period which the allegations reflect, he worked in Boushehr and was not in Tehran at all,” Dorri’s brother told the Campaign. “Even during the appeals court trial, we didn’t expect this ruling. We are so surprised, because during his trial in the lower court at Branch 206 with Judge Pirabbasi presiding, the judge himself told the two lawyers representing Majid, ‘Regarding the charge of moharebeh, as there is insufficient evidence, it is not necessary to present defense. You should defend the other two charges,” he added.