Filmmaker’s Wife Demoralized Over Being Banned from Contacting Husband
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Mohammad Nourizad’s wife, Fatemeh Maleki, discussed the lack of news about her husband after his return to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Ward 2-A inside Evin Prison, and his poor physical condition at that time. “Since the day his leave ended and he returned to prison, we have not heard from him. He has not called us and we have not been allowed to visit with him. We took him to Evin Prison on 27 February. The Warden for IRGC’s Ward 2-A came to the prison door and took him inside with him. He returned to prison while he was still sick,” said Maleki.
Mohammad Nourizad, a documentary filmmaker, was arrested on 20 December 2009 in the aftermath of the 2009 presidential election because of letters he wrote to the Supreme Leader in which he was critical of policy. Nourizad was transferred to a hospital after his health deteriorated on 16 February 2011. Doctors performed surgery for kidney stones and he was allowed to go home for ten days. His family have not heard from him again after he returned to Evin Prison on 27 February. Nourizad wrote in a note prior to his return to prison that he considers his detention inside Ward 2-A (under the management of the IRGC) as illegal.
Maleki told the Campaign that she has reached an impasse with the authorities in dealing with her husband’s case. “I did not pursue it this time at all, and did not go to the Prosecutor’s Office or anywhere else, and I don’t really know why his contacts and visitation have been cut off this time. I’ve reached a dead end. I don’t know how to interpret and explain their behavior and actions! I don’t know what they’re chasing after with this kind of behavior. Considering the back and forth trips that I have had to the Prosecutor’s Office and other places during the past year-and-half, I have reached the conclusion that the authorities act in accordance with what they see fit. These back and forth trips are hurting me a lot psychologically. It’s not a good atmosphere and it is so annoying. Up to now and as much as it has been possible for me, I have pursued the issues, but this time I have no resolve. I have left it to the understanding, comprehension, and human dignity that they claimed they have so much of, and our religion…Let’s see how far they can function and go forward with it. No problem at all. These are all a test for us, so help us God for us to come out of this test proud. I leave it to God,” Maleki said.
Maleki continued, “When we took him to Evin [Prison], in addition to his dental problem that persisted as before, he also had the kidney problem that inflicted him in prison, and his skin disease was also severely acting up. He went back to prison in an unsuitable condition. He never had a history of kidney disease. These must be the effects of the dry hunger strike that he was on for several days.”
“His psychological state is good as always. Thank God. But as I said, when he was returning to prison his illnesses were untreated, because the was no opportunity for serious treatment. Any time he has come for a leave, it has been too short and he had to return soon. He didn’t himself expect to return to prison so quickly this time. Honestly, he didn’t even come home under the title of a leave. When his health deteriorated, he was transferred to the hospital and in there they diagnosed kidney stones, then he came home. He was summoned a few days later and was told that he had been on a ten-day leave and now he had to return to the prison,” she said about Nourizad’s physical and psychological state.
Asked whether the latest ban on visitations and contact might be the result of Nourizad’s most recent letters, Maleki said, “I don’t think so, because there has not been any particular issue in those letters. Things like this are written daily in various websites. If they want to arrest everyone due to their writings, the arrests would be innumerable. He has thanked the people who came to see him in a letter, and in another, he announced his return to prison. I don’t really know.”
“Apparently, he spends his days doing handicraft and artistic work, which some of it he brought with him and they were impressive. I think he might now take up writing again,” Maleki concluded.