Student Activist Denied Prison Leave to Take Exam
Reza Tabarzadi, father of imprisoned human rights activist and student Abdolfazl Tabarzadi, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the Ahvaz Prosecutor denied his son permission to leave prison for a few hours last Wednesday to take a graduate admission test.
“I hope they eventually agree to a few hours’ prison leave for my son; all he wants to do is take the test,” Tabarzadi’s father told the Campaign. “I have been pursuing permission for this for a while, but so far I have only heard negative replies. He is not a criminal.”
On 19 December 2010, security forces arrested Abolfazl Tabarzadi, a 24-year-old civil engineering student. A lower court in Ahvaz sentenced him to 15 months in prison, and an appeals court reduced his sentence to nine months. On 18 October, he was transferred to Karoon Prison in Ahvaz to begin serving his sentence.
Reza Tabarzadi also told the Campaign that his son has lost a lot of weight in prison. “Naturally, it is very hard when an engineer, a merit student with a 150 IQ, has to go to prison, and to Karoon Prison of Ahvaz at that. But really, why should Abolfazl be in prison? What sin has he committed? He was just a human rights activist, he was just trying to get furlough and visitation rights and such for his uncle, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, who is inside Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj.”
During his interrogation, officials asked Tabarzadi to overstate his relationship with his uncle Heshamtollah Tabarzadi, an imprisoned activist and former Secretary General of the Iran Democratic Front. Reza Tabarzadi added:
“Everyone has an opinion. ‘I am a Mousavi supporter, I love Mousavi and Karroubi,’ my son told the court. He loves his uncle, too. These are not foreigners, they are people from our own country. Mousavi was Prime Minister during the war, and Karroubi a cleric who led public prayers. Now, if a young person loves them, he must go to prison. Instead of using the power of his youth and encouraging him, he is forced to serve time at a prison like Karoon in Ahvaz, where he is wilting.”