Ahmad Ghabel In Isolation After Interview About Secret Executions
Marzieh Pasdar, wife of prisoner of conscience Ahmad Ghabel, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that in a telephone call last Tuesday, her husband told her he is being kept in isolation following his arrest. This is the second time Ghabel has been imprisoned over the past year. Asked whether Ghabel or his family have been threatened about the Vakilabad Prison events, his wife told the Campaign, “No, there were no threats. But he and the rest of us expected that he would be summoned and imprisoned again. That’s why he wrote what he needed to say in a document entitled ‘What happened and what needs to be said’ in 14 sections.”
Ahmad Ghabel is a religious scholar and a student of the late Ayatollah Montazeri who was released in June after six months in prison. According to his summons, he had to appear before the Mashad Revolutionary Courts on 18 September 2009. When Ghabel’s lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, contacted the Mashad Revolutionary Courts authorities to find out the reason for the new summons, they stated that they did not know anything about it. “Ahmad found a chance to come out for a second to tell me that they were taking him back to prison. There was no time for him to explain more, he only said that following his speech in Najafabad, the Najafabad Intelligence Office has filed a new objection to his speech. But I was standing near the door and I heard some things about the judge’s unhappiness about his statements regarding the secret executions. I heard him say at one point ‘You didn’t read it correctly. I didn’t mean the things you said,'” Pasdar told the Campaign.
Following his release, Ghabel spoke about the large scale secret executions of prisoners inside Mashad’s Vakilabad prison during speeches and discussions. According to him, with a capacity of 4,000 prisoners, Vakilabad Prison is now holding more than 12,000 prisoners and over the past year 500 prisoners who were sentenced to death were executed in secret group executions. According to information from trusted sources, families and lawyers of those executed were not informed of the executions at all and thus were not present at the time of the executions. According to Ghabel and other sources who have spoken to the Campaign over the past week, 2,000 prisoners wait on death row inside the notorious Mashad prison. Some of these prisoners received their death sentences years ago. Most of these prisoners have received the death penalty as a result of their drug-related offenses.
Previously, Ghabel served 170 days inside the Intelligence Ward of Vakilabad Prison. So far he has not been sentenced. “We never did find out what his charges were during those six months she spent in temporary detention. We hope this time his charges would be clear. Whatever Ghabel has said is because of his compassion and desire to defend the people and the country; he has not committed any crimes,” said Marzieh Pasdar.