Prominent Female Journalist in Evin Prison’s Methadone Ward
A source close to imprisoned journalist Hengameh Shahidi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Shahidi spent her 36th birthday inside Evin Prison’s Methadone Ward. After several female political prisoners were transferred to Varamin Prison, Shahidi was transferred from the General Ward to the Methadone Ward along with several other female political prisoners.
According to the source, Shahidi met with her family last Tuesday and her family described her psychological and physical conditions as “relatively good.” The journalist was called in to start serving her six-year prison term on 23 February 2010. Shahidi is the only female journalist currently serving her sentence. Hengameh Shahidi was granted medical leave in November 2010, but she was returned to prison only 10 days later without a chance to complete her medical treatment.
This is the second birthday Shahidi has spent behind bars. Shahidi, who was studying abroad, returned to Iran in 2009 and was arrested after the election. Several other female journalists such as Farzaneh Roustaee and Badrolsaddat Mofidi were also arrested after the elections.
Shahidi, a winner of the 2004 Iranian Press Festival, has covered national policies, as well as reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan.
In May 2010 Branch 54 of the Tehran Appeals Court upheld her lower court ruling. Her charges included “propagating against the regime,” “acting against national security” and “insulting the president.”