Activist Given Six-Year Sentence and Exiled to Bandar Abbas
“Saeed had been informed of his charges in the court and through the indictment, and he had an idea of his sentence, but the judge ruled the maximum punishment he could for him. Saeed Madani’s charges are ‘assembly and collusion with intent to act against national security’ and ‘propaganda against the regime in favor of regime opposition groups and organizations,’ and using the reasoning that he had ‘widespread activities inside the country,’ he was sentenced to imprisonment in exile and 10 additional years of exile in Bandar Abbas. But why exile? Why so many years of prison?” Mansoureh Ettefagh told the Campaign.
Saeed Madani’s wife said they will appeal the sentence and hope that it will be dismissed at the appeals level.
Asked whether Madani ever accepted any of the charges leveled against him in court, Mansoureh Ettefagh said, “No. He never accepted them. It is not clear in the case at all with whom he colluded ‘with the intent to act against national security.’ He couldn’t have colluded with himself! He must have colluded with at least one or two other people. But there are no other names in the case. Also, regarding his charge of ‘propaganda against the regime,’ they said that through his social activities, he reflected his viewpoints in the press and by signing group statements. But he signed those statements along with other political and social figures.”
Security forces arrested Saeed Madani, academic, political activist, and member of the editorial board of the banned Iran-e Farda Monthly, on January 7, 2012. He spent nearly a year inside the Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209 at Evin Prison. Saeed Madani’s wife previously told the Campaign that her husband had been tortured during the first few months after his arrest, and had endured long interrogation sessions of about 15 hours, until he embarked on a hunger strike to protest his conditions and his situation improved somewhat.
In an earlier interview, Mansoureh Ettefagh told the Campaign that the interrogators refused to transfer Madani to the General Ward because he refused to provide false confessions. “His interrogators wish to punish him because Saeed has not accepted the scenario they have built for accusing him. They have not accepted his interrogation sheets and would not allow him to be transferred to the General Ward. In fact they don’t want to accept the truth about him, they only want him to accept what they are saying against him,” she had said.
“There is no evidence supporting Saeed’s charges in his file. The question is, whom did he collude with to act against national security?! He couldn’t have done it by himself. I only expect the judicial authorities to review his exile to Bandar Abbas and his six-year prison sentence at appeals level. He does not deserve this punishment,” Saeed Madani’s wife told the Campaign.
Mansoureh Ettefagh told the Campaign that her husband is not in good health inside Evin Prison. “We asked several months ago for Saeed to be transferred to a hospital in order to have gallbladder surgery, but it hasn’t happened so far. The Prosecutor’s representative says that they have agreed to the request, but it has not happened yet and we worry about his health. The prison infirmary doctor has said three times that he must be sent to a hospital for his gallbladder. Saeed tells me during visits that he has a lot of pain and discomfort, and when he goes to the infirmary, they only give him painkillers to dull the pain.”
Madani was one of several members of the Nationalist-Religious group arrested by the IRGC in March 2000 on charges of “establishing and membership in the Nationalist-Religious Activists Council.” He spent a year at the IRGC’s Eshratabad Prison, six months of which was in solitary confinement. He was then put on trial at Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court on the same charges and was sentenced to six years in prison and 10 years’ ban on social activities. The sentence was reduced to 3.5 years in prison and 10 years’ ban on social to activities at the appeals level.