Father of Exiled and Imprisoned Student Hopeful that Transfer News is False
Following news that student activist Zia Nabavi was transferred from Ahvaz Prison to an unknown location by security forces, his father, Seyed Ali Akbar Nabavi, expressed concern about the lack of information he has about his son. “Just last week, I heard the news about my son’s transfer from families of the other prisoners inside Ahvaz Prison, who usually contact me and give me news about Zia’s situation. Because they don’t give me much visitation time with Zia, I get news about my son’s well being more often from the families [of other prisoners]. Now I am very worried and I don’t know what to do. I’m just hoping the news is false,” Ali Akbar Nabavi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Zia Nabavi is the spokesperson for The Right To Education Council and a chemical engineering graduate from Noshirvani Industrial University in Babol, who passed the graduate school entrance exam in sociology with top ranking. He was arrested on 15 June 2009. A Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Pirabassi, sentenced Nabavi to 10 years in prison in exile. He was transferred to Ahvaz Prison a few months ago. Though Nabavi has the right to make phone calls twice per month, beginning last month he was banned from making telephone calls and now, according to reports, has been transferred to an unknown location.
“The only way I might get news of my son is by going to Ahvaz Prison. I must get an airline ticket, because I can not bear going to Ahvaz on a bus [due to the long distance]. I have neck arthritis,” said Nabavi’s father.
“My last visit with my son was on 16 February. He was well and did not have any problems, thank God. But, I have no news of him whatsoever since that day. I only heard last week that he was taken from the prison,” Ali Akbar Nabavi told the Campaign.
After Zia Nabavi’s most recent visit with his family, reports indicated that Nabavi was not able to see his family for more than a few seconds, that he was harshly body searched twice by prison officials before the visit, and his family was disrespected. “Honestly, I cannot make any comments, just [to say that] Zia was well, thank God. And now I am worried and hopeful that the news of his transfer from the prison is not true. I have to buy an airline ticket and go to Ahvaz. I do not know. [I hope] God himself would help, so that the news of his transfer turn out to be a lie. I am very worried,” said Ali Akbar Nabavi.