Tabarzadi Appeals Court Sentenced Him to 7 Years in Absence of His Three Imprisoned Lawyers
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Mohammad Tabarzadi, son of Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, Secretary General of Democratic Party of Iran, said he learned from news websites that an appeals court sentenced his father to seven years in prison. “My father’s appeals court session was held while all his three lawyers are in prison and my father had no other lawyers to represent him. My father’s lawyers were Nasrin Sotoudeh, Mohammad Oliaifar, and Khalil Bahramin, all of whom are in prison now. We weren’t informed about the court date. I believe that even my father may not have participated in the court session, as he always said that he didn’t believe in these courts and rulings. He attended his lower court session once, where he was sentenced to nine years in prison on numerous charges,” Mohammad Tabarzadi told the Campaign.
Heshmatollah Tabarzadi was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison on 28 December 2009. After being transferred to Evin Prison’s General Ward, Tabarzadi protested the execution of five Kurdish political prisoners, including Farzad Kamangar, and as a result was exiled to Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj. In October 2010, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Tabarzadi to nine years in prison and 74 lashes. His charges of “propagating against the regime,” and “disrupting public order” were later dropped.
“This ruling is unjust. Even a one-year prison sentence would be too much for my father. He served eight years in prison in past years. This time he hadn’t done anything. After Ashura Day [27 December] 2009, they came to our home and took him. Now they have sentenced him to seven years in prison. If this is how things are, they should arrest the entire nation and sentence them one by one,” Mohammad Tabarzadi said about the appeals court ruling of seven years in prison for his father.
“I have not visited my father since he was transferred to Rajaee Shahr Prison. I can’t bear seeing him as he gets thinner every day. Inside Karaj’s Rajaee Shahr Prison, families were allowed to have in-person visitation with their relatives. Women visited one week, and the next week the men visited. Rajaee Shahr Prison holds 30 political prisoners and it used to be that all of them gathered in one visiting hall to see their families. But ever since two months ago, all visitation is done through booths and it is no longer possible to have telephone calls. Despite all this, my mother and brothers say that my father has very strong spirits, but he has become weak. It is a prison, after all,” said Mohammad Tabarzadi about his father’s psychological and physical conditions.
“There is no glass on the window in my father’s ward, so they spend days and nights in the cold winter air inside their ward. They all caught colds. They had no floor covering, either. The ward canteen was closed. Finally, after several months, through their insistence, the window was covered with plastic and they brought floor carpeting and the canteen was re-opened. They don’t take care of the inmates’ ailments. [Mansour] Osanloo is my father’s cell-mate; he had a heart attack in prison one day and my father tended him. He screamed until they came and took him to the infirmary. The prison food is not healthy. They have not had any fruit in a year-and-a-half. All of these affect their physical conditions. No matter how well they maintain their morale, such difficult conditions will weaken them over time,” Tabarzadi’s son said about his father’s problems in prison.
“I think all prisoner families want to be remembered. The least human rights activists can do under such circumstances is to spread the news. I believe if news is spread and other countries put pressure on the Iranian government, they would be forced to make changes in the current situation,” concluded Mohammad Tabarzadi.