Despite Posted Bail, Intelligence Ministry Prevents Journalist’s Release
Five months after her arrest and imprisonment, journalist Nazanin Khosravani’s “temporary detention” orders were extended once again yesterday during her second trial session and she was not released on bail as promised. During Khosravani’s previous trial session, the presiding judge issued a bail ruling. An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that authorities from the Prosecutor’s Office promised Khosravani’s family to release her on bail after the court session. Family members were waiting outside Evin Prison for Khosravani to be released and despite promising to not interview with foreign media about the case, Khosravani’s temporary detention was extended.
Nedaye Sabz website reported today that the trial judge told Khosravani the reason for revoking her bail order was her “intention to flee the country.” In her defense, Khosravani told the judge: “First of all, I don’t own a passport for leaving the country, and secondly, if I intended to flee the country, I had a lot of time for this, but my decision was to remain in my country.”
At her first trial session last week, the judge set Khosravani’s bail at $300,000. The next day the bail was increased to $600,000, which the family raised and posted; however, the decision for Khosravani’s release was postponed until the 8 February court session.
Some sources reported that the Intelligence Ministry disagrees with her being released. Her mother, Azam Afsharian, who frequently spoke with foreign media about her daughter’s situation before, has maintained silence about the case for some time.
Nazanin Khosravani, a political journalist for reformist newspapers, was arrested on 5 September 2010 at her home and transferred to Evin Prison. One hundred fifty days after her arrest, Khosravani was only recently moved from a solitary cell and sent to share a cell with a non-political prisoner. Afsharian previously said that Khosravani is in poor shape due to her cold cell and lack of warm clothing and that prison authorities had refused to give Khosravani the warm clothes her mother had taken her.