Held in Solitary Confinement, Imprisoned Teacher Unaware of Mother’s Death
Rassoul Bodaghi, an imprisoned teacher, has been on a dry hunger strike for the past two weeks in protest of his prison conditions at Rajaee Shahr Prison. As he is being kept in solitary confinement, he remains unaware of his mother’s death this past week and her funeral yesterday. Despite Bodaghi’s lawyer’s earlier requests, he was not granted a prison leave to visit his mother in the hospital. Foroozan Alizadeh, Bodaghi’s wife and mother of three young children, spoke with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran: “I visited my husband two weeks ago. At the time, he was on dry hunger strike and said that he would continue until his prison conditions changed. But a few days ago, I heard that he was transferred to solitary confinement. Then I heard that his health had deteriorated and he was transferred to the prison infirmary and then returned to his solitary cell while still connected to IV tubes. I have read all of these through the media; I have not seen him since two weeks ago. I do not know why these things happen. Today was also a visitation day, but I thought because he is in solitary they would not grant me visitation and I did not go.”
A group of political prisoners inside Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj began a dry hunger strike 11 days ago, protesting the lack of minimal facilities and rights, and inappropriate behavior of prison officials. Bodaghi is one of the strikers who is in poor physical condition. Some sources have reported that the prisoners ended their hunger strike.
“His mother passed away this week, and he does not even know yet. She wished to see her son in her final moments, but it wasn’t possible. In our visits, I had told him that his mother was sick and hospitalized, but after our last visit two weeks ago, his mother died of a heart attack and was buried yesterday. His lawyer attempted to get a leave for Rassoul, but did not get an answer. They said that the case file judge was not available, that he was on vacation.” continued Alizadeh.
Throughout Bodaghi’s imprisonment, his cellmates have repeatedly reported of his torture by prison officials. “We were once informed, and he later admitted himself that one time he was severely beaten and verbally abused at Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj. But because we get upset by the news, he says nothing. I don’t really know. But he’s in good spirits,” said Alizadeh.
“My husband is a teacher. He defended the rights of his co-workers and other teachers. He was never active politically. I beg of human rights activists to look into the situation of the prisoners. I request his release. He is only a teacher,” continued Alizadeh.
Rassoul Bodaghi, a teacher and board member of the Iranian Teachers’ Association, was arrested on 3 September 2009. Along with Issa Saharkhiz and Davood Soleimani, Bodaghi was transferred to Rajaee Shar Prison on 16 June 2010. On 3 August 2010, Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison and a five-year ban on social activities.