Cartoon 72: Collective Punishment
The wife and the mother of an exiled political prisoner died in a car crash as they were on their way back from visiting their relative in Masjed-e Soleyman Prison. Nahid Rahmani, mother, and Ziba Sadeghzadeh, wife, of Amir Reza (Payman) Arefi, were returning from their monthly trip to Masjed-e-Soleyman (500 miles southwest of Tehran), where Payman Arefi is serving his 15 year prison sentence in exile.
According to Iranian laws, convicts can be sentenced to prison terms or to live in exile in remote locations, but combining prison sentences with exile is an illegal sentence the Iranian Judiciary has begun to implement against many dissidents, political prisoners, and prisoners of conscience in the recent years to further punish them. The practice also punishes the families of the prisoners by forcing them to travel long distances for their weekly visits with their relatives. Iranian laws also stipulate that prisoners should be sent to prison facilities near their places of residence, a consideration which is not observed in the cases of most political prisoners.