Uncertain Situation of a Journalist in Exile
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HRANA – Freelance journalist Reza Rafiee Forooshan has been detained in Rajaiee Shahr Prison for months and his requests for temporary leave has been denied.
According to Kalameh, Mr. Rafiee Forooshan and a number of other prisoners were transferred from Ward 350 of Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajaiee Shahr Prison in Karaj. He is currently in exile along with other well-known prisoners, Davood Solaymani, Masoud Bastani, Ahmad Zeyd-Abadi and Mehdi Mahmoodian.
Mr. Rafiee Forooshan who collaborated with Time Magazine in Iran, was arrested in June 2009 by the Intelligence Ministry. He was then tried in the infamous televised trials that became known as the “show trials.” The trials were presided over by judge Salavati, a conservative hardliner best known for disproportionate prison sentences and a penchant for ordering executions. Judge Salavati sentenced Mr. Rafiee Forooshan to 7 years in prison, but the sentence was reduced to 3 1/2 years by the appellate court.
Mr. Rafiee Forooshan was initially held in the Intelligence Ministry’s Security Wards in Evin prison and was later transferred to Ward 350. He was then moved to Fardis Prison in Karaj for a short while before getting transferred to Rajaiee Shahr Prison. Two other political prisoners, journalists Ahmad Zeyd-Abadi and Masoud Bastani, had previously been exiled to the same prison.
These political prisoners, none of whose sentences included exile, have been exiled to Rajaiee Shahr prison completely illegally and are currently held alongside common criminals. Aside from their illegal transfer, the authorities had also failed to follow the legal procedures required for their indictment. Mr. Rafiee Forooshan’s family request his immediate freedom or at least permission to use his right to temporary leave.