Judge Refuses to Set Bail for Imprisoned Journalist Seraj Mirdamadi
Temporary Detention Has Exceeded the Legal Limit of One Month
Iranian journalist Serajeddin Mirdamadi’s prolonged “temporary detention” is illegal, according to his lawyer Giti Pourfazel, who told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the case judge refuses to release Mirdamadi on bail.
“Temporary detentions cannot exceed a month, whereas Mr. Mirdamadi has been in temporary detention since May 2014. No matter how I tried to get him released on bail, I was unsuccessful,” Pourfazel told the Campaign.
“The process for this case is outside the law. The judge doesn’t agree [to set bail], and he doesn’t see the need to explain, either. I have explained many times that continuing Mr. Mirdamadi’s temporary detention is illegal. In his recent speech, [President] Rouhani noted that the Judiciary must be independent and non-partisan, but if the judicial officials disregard the law themselves, how can they expect the people to observe the law?” she asked.
Furthermore, Mirdamadi’s lawyer has been unable to read her client’s case. “The Judge told me that because he had been unable to read the case himself, he would not allow me to read it for now,” said Giti Pourfazel. “My client’s earlier charges were ‘propaganda against the regime,’ and it appears that charges of ‘assembly and collusion against national security’ have also been added,” she said about the charges.
Serajeddin Mirdamadi is a journalist and a former member of the Central Council of Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat student organization. Between 1999 and 2002, he served as Deputy Director for Elections at the Interior Ministry. After the disputed 2009 presidential election, he went to France to earn a Master’s degree in communications. He worked for the Netherlands-based Radio Zamaneh during his residence abroad.
He returned to Iran in September 2013, and was repeatedly interrogated. Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court charged him with “propaganda against the regime” on January 8, 2014, but his judicial case was returned to Evin Prison Courts for completion. He appeared before the Evin Prison Court on May 10, 2014, following a summons, and was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison. He has been inside the IRGC’s Ward 2-A at Evin Prison and his other charges are not known at this time. Mirdadmadi was allowed to visit with his family for the first time on June 23, more than six weeks after his arrest.