“I Hope to See My Father’s Captors in a Public Trial Soon,” says Mehdi Saharkhiz
Seven days after court rulings for Issa Saharkhiz and Hossein Derakhshan were served to their respective lawyers and families and news websites reported on them, Fars News Agency announced that these rulings are not definitive. According to the announced ruling, Saharkhiz, a prominent journalist and the former Press Director of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, has been sentenced to three years in prison, five years’ ban and deprivation of political and journalistic activities, and one year’s ban on foreign travel.
Saharkhiz’s son, Mehdi, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he first heard the verdict on Fars News Agency’s website. “I don’t know, the whole country seems to be in chaos. What they told my father’s lawyer before was that the ruling was definitive. I have not spoken with my father’s lawyer about the new statements, but it makes no difference to him anymore. Whether the ruling is definitive or not, he is not going to appeal it. Now we have to wait and see what happens in the next few days,” he said.
“They continue to bring my father to the meeting room on a wheelchair and there hasn’t been any change in his condition. The Prosecutor’s office hasn’t replied to my mother’s letter, either, so we’d know what to do,” he added.
In regards to their suit against mobile phone manufacturer Nokia, Mehdi Saharkhiz said, “We’re doing our best so Nokia will not disregard people’s lives so easily. We’re trying to raise our questions against Nokia, and hope to reach a conclusive point. However, the judicial process must be followed in accordance with legal procedures.”
“So far Nokia has given answers to the first set of questions, and now our lawyers are going over their replies. I can’t say anything more about this at the moment,” he added.
About Issa Saharkhiz’s morale in prison he said, “His spirit is even better than many others who are outside prison, because he hasn’t done anything to be worried about, and his conscience is clear. He also believes in what he has done, so his morale is excellent. Our family’s situation is stronger than ever before because we do believe what my father and what other political prisoners have done was correct. We believe that this is what all Iranian people want–they do not want a series of criminals ruling over them. However, I hope those who have put him in prison are tried soon in a public trial.”
About his request from human rights organizations, Mehdi Saharkhiz said, “We expect them investigate the situation of all prisoners, and to force those who have caused these tragedies and committed the torture to be accountable for their crimes.”