Imprisoned Journalist Remains in Solitary Confinement Without Charges
“Fariba remains in solitary confinement and her interrogations continue. She told us during a telephone call yesterday [July 20] that she is well and that she will be released soon and for us not to worry about her. But she said the same things to us 10 days ago when she was first arrested. Is it possible for someone to be in solitary confinement inside Evin Prison and be ‘well’? Certainly she says these things so we won’t worry,” the source said.
Security forces arrested Fariba Pajouh, a journalist who worked for reformist newspapers, on July 10 at her home. Four security force members searched her home, confiscated her laptop computer and satellite receiver, and transferred her to Evin Prison. Fariba Pajouh has been unemployed in recent months.
The family member told the Campaign that the family has visited the Shahid Moghaddas Judicial Complex several times in order to pursue Fariba Pajouh’s case, but their efforts have been futile. “The only way we can pursue her case is to go to the Shahid Moghaddas Hall of Justice. We went there three times last week, but they didn’t give a suitable reply to our queries. All they told us was that she is banned from having visitors and that they would be sending her case file to the Second Branch of Investigations,” the family member said.
Fariba Pajouh was first arrested in 2009, in the aftermath of the disputed presidential election. She was released 124 days later on bail of US$50,000. A lower court sentenced the journalist to one year in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime, and Branch 54 of Tehran Appeals Court later suspended her prison sentence for five years.
“They haven’t yet filed any charges against her. Fariba herself said in her telephone call that there have been some ambiguities that needed to be clarified. I don’t know what the ambiguities were about. Fariba has not worked with any media since April of this year, and prior to that, she was occasionally working with Etemad Newspaper. She wasn’t even in Tehran during the elections. I don’t really know what to say. She hasn’t done anything against the law and has not had any special activities, either,” said the family member.
When asked what request the family has of the Iranian Judiciary officials, the family member said, “We would ask them to release Fariba. Fariba was not planning to leave the country. They had returned her passport to her, and she could have easily left, but she didn’t. She was living here and didn’t want to escape, so why is it necessary to take her to solitary confinement for individual interrogation in the month of Ramadan, and worry her family?”