A Positive Development

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soltaniEarlier today, Thursday, August 27, 2009, BBC Persian reported that Abdolfattah Soltani was freed from incarceration in Evin prison after enduring more than two months of imprisonment, of which 17 days was spent in solitary confinement.  In an interview with BBC following his release, Mr. Soltani reported that charges against him are:  “instilling doubts in elections”, “propaganda against the regime”, “formation of groups to undermine national security”.  He characterized these charges as unfounded in the law and untrue.

He added that the first of these charges were conveyed to him after 27 hours of imprisonment, but Mr. Soltani insists that such a charge is completely spurious as there is no penalty under law for “instilling doubt” in elections.  Furthermore, he indicated that as a human rights advocate, he had not participated in any of presidential campaigns nor represented any of the candidates.

Mr. Soltani indicated that the prosecutor had moved quickly, presumably on the strength of his wife’s open letter (see Iran Press Watch), to provide him with temporary release on a 100 million tuman [equivalent of US$100,000] bail in form of property surety.

He stated, “On June 16, four agents entered my office without having a warrant and showed me a court order dated, June 10, that is, two days before the election, which had to do with the unrest in streets and had nothing to do with me.”

“I spent the first 17 or 18 days of incarceration in solitary confinement and for two weeks was deprived of using showers, nor had any means of communications or access to newspapers or books.”

Mr. Soltani was not tortured or subjected to other inhumane treatments that commonly take places in Iranian prisons.  However, he indicates that once he entered the common prison facilities, many other prisoners reported that they had been tortured or beaten or otherwise physically mistreated.

In denying any wrongdoing and referring to charges against him as baseless, Mr. Soltani noted that four years ago, he was imprisoned for seven months but was released when all charges against him were proven to be unfounded.

[Based on BBC Persian.  Translation by Iran Press Watch.]


One Response

  1. sb

    August 28, 2009 11:23 am

    Thanks be to God! So great is this man’s reputation that the jailers did not dare to touch him! Now that Mr. Soltani has seen and heard first hand what the prisoners of conscience must endure, his resolve will be stronger than ever and his voice magnified.


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