Mahsa Amrabadi Demands Prison Leave for Bastani’s Serious Infection
The wife of imprisoned journalist Masoud Bastani is concerned about her husband’s severe teeth, jaw and mouth condition. Bastani has been in prison since 5 July 2009 and currently is in Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj. Initially a lower court sentenced him to six years’ imprisonment, but the appeals court changed this ruling to six years imprisonment plus a $36,000 cash fine.
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Mahsa Amrabadi, the wife of the prisoner of conscience and journalist Masoud Bastani, said she is concerned about her husband’s health. “Masoud has had severe toothache, which have not been addressed and treated. As a result, the infection in his teeth has spread to his jaws and mouth. Since he’s been in prison for more than a year, his health has weakened, and this has further compounded his suffering,” she said.
In regards to her husband’s sentence, Amrabadi said: “This is a very heavy sentence, and the cash fine is beyond our family’s ability to pay. Masoud was charged with collusion, creating riots, and propaganda against the regime, none of which has a cash fine as punishment. We don’t even know on what basis this amount is levied against him.” “The family of Masoud Bastani wanted a retrial, but the fact is that we did not have any hope that the judge would grant it,” she added.
Mahsa Amrabadi spoke of discrimination in her husband’s case. “Masoud was arrested due to his cooperation with the Jomhouriyat website, which during the presidential election was openly in support of Mir Hossein Mousavi. Masoud was the site’s afternoon editor, which is the fourth level of responsibility. Fortunately, now the site’s senior officials are free on bail, but Masoud has been denied even sick leave for treatment of his toothache, which is the natural right of a prisoner. This discrimination hurts us very much.”
“Masoud is a journalist and he has never been seeking wealth and power. The only thing that he wanted was a position on an editorial board with a regular and steady income. But, unfortunately, the judicial authorities do not understand this, and treat journalists like they would secretary-generals of political parties. Ultimately, the fact is that these people supported candidates who were qualified to run by the Guardian Council,” she added.
“After three months of solitary confinement and after interrogations, Masoud was brought to a show trial at which he not only didn’t have access to a lawyer, but he was also not informed of his charges,” she concluded.