Upon Completion of 2-Year Sentence, Unionist Faces New Trial
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the wife of prisoner of conscience Hashem Khastar said that her husband, whose two-year prison term ended, was expected to be released on 26 July; but instead was taken to court and tried on the new charge of “creating public anxiety.”
Speaking about the status of her husband, retired teacher and head of the Mashad Teachers’ Union Sedigheh Maleki expressed concern. “He was supposed to be released today, but it’s 7:00 p.m., and we haven’t yet heard from him. He is not at Vakilabad Prison, nor did he come home. One of his cellmates called just now and said that he was taken away this morning and hasn’t been returned,” said Maleki.
“I asked prison authorities previously when my husband would be released, and they said he would be released on 26 July. When I spoke with my husband yesterday…he said to wait for him outside at 9:00 a.m. My children and I and several of his co-workers waited for several hours, but nothing happened,” she added.
“One of my husband’s cellmates contacted us and said that several people came and told my husband, ‘Pick up your things. You have to go to court.’ I contacted the Revolutionary Court. They told me that they have tried my husband again on the charge of ‘creating public anxiety.’ I contacted them again to see what happened with the court, but there was no answer,” said Maleki.
Hashem Khastar is an agricultural engineer, former head of the Mashad Teachers’ Union, and a former teacher at the Agriculture Technical High School. He was arrested on 16 September 2009 while walking in a park and was taken to Vakilabad Prison. Khastar was sentenced to six years in prison. An appeals court later reduced his sentence to two years. He has written three letters to the Head of the Judiciary regarding the dire and inhumane conditions and secret executions at Vakilabad Prison.