“His New Charge is ‘Assistance in Espionage,’ But It’s Not Clear Whom He Was Assisting”
Saeed Naimi, who was transferred from Karaj Prison to Tabriz Prison, is currently facing new charges of “assistance in espionage.” Naimi’s wife, Saideh Islami, spoke with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran about her husband’s new charges and his current conditions in prison.
“Saeed was supposed to have a court trial on 26 October. We were told that bail orders had been issued for him and that he would be released soon. Unfortunately, however, Said was taken for interrogation last week, and they tried to accuse him of espionage, but with Said’s opposition and resistance the charge of espionage was changed to ‘assistance in espionage,’ and now based on the new charge a court date of 29 December has been scheduled,” said Islami.
“Unfortunately, they forced Said to accept the charge, so Saeed had no other alternatives. But, there is no proof of “espionage” or “assistance in espionage” against him. Essentially, the charge of espionage was not explained to Saeed himself, nor whom he was assisting in espionage. But unfortunately this happened. We were waiting for his release by posting bail, but he was taken for interrogation and a new charge was added to his court file,” said Islami.
Saeed Naimi is a member of the Policy Council of Advar Tahkim Vahdat, a student alumni group. On 9 May 2011, authorities arrested Naimi. He was held in solitary confinement for three months in Karaj Prison, during which time he embarked on a hunger strike to protest his condition. Authorities then transferred Naimi to the General Ward, after which he was transferred to Tabriz Prison, far from his home in Karaj. He is now held in a ward with drug trafficking convicts.
Naimi’s wife told the Campaign that although he did not accept his charges at first, officials brought up his previous activities. “One of the objections raised against him has been his cooperation with Karroubi’s election headquarters, which was legal at the time it took place. There was an election and everybody participated in it. He hasn’t accepted the charge of collusion and acting against national security. So now we have to see how it’s judged in court and what happens,” she said about her husband’s reaction to his new charge.
When asked why her husband was transferred to Tabriz Prison when his place of residence is in Karaj, she answered, “We’ve had the same question for the past seven months and haven’t found an answer for it. Perhaps they want to increase the mental pressure on us, because for a ten-minute visit, I lose two whole days to go from here to Tabriz, to see whether he is well, healthy, and to find peace of mind about him. I can’t go every week. In my opinion there is no other reason but to put mental pressure on us.”
“From the time he went on hunger strike, he has developed digestive problems and, unfortunately, he is not using any medication for it now. Tabriz Prison does not have good medical and health conditions, and, unfortunately, the prisoners are not looked after,” said Islami.