Friday August, 12th, 2010 – Translation by Negar Irani – Summary: In a letter addressed to the head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the families of the political prisoners voiced their deep concern regarding the well being of their loved ones who ended their hunger strike 3 days ago. In addition they informed Mr. Larijani that they have been told by prison officials that as a result of their statements to the media, the prisoners have been deprived of all telephone contact and visitation with their families until further notice. The families were also told that once they stop talking to the media and disseminating information about their loved ones, they will review their decision regarding potential telephone contacts and visitation rights. In this letter the families demanded to know whether they have been deprived of any contact with the prisoners as a result of their dire physical condition and asked “Are our loved ones truly okay? Have they survived the difficult conditions of their two week hunger strike?”
In a letter addressed to the head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the families of the political prisoners voiced their deep concern regarding the well being of their loved ones who ended their hunger strike 3days ago. In addition they informed Mr. Larijani that they have been told by prison officials that as a result of their statements to the media, the prisoners have been deprived of all telephone contact and visitation with their families until further notice. The families were also told that once they stop talking to the media and disseminating information about their loved ones, the decision regarding potential telephone contacts and visitation rights will be reviewed.
The full content of the letter written by the families of the 16 political prisoners and provided to Kaleme is as follows:
With greetings to Ayatollah Ameli Larijani
The honorable Head of the Judiciary,
As you are aware, it has been approximately 20 days since our last contact with our loved ones. During this time, these political prisoners, students, journalists and members of our nation’s elite, began a hunger strike after being unjustly transferred to solitary confinement as a result of protesting the unacceptable prison conditions and insulting behavior by prison guards at Evin’s ward 350.
From the onset of their hunger strike, even though we believed such a protest to be the right of our innocent yet incarcerated loved ones, we sought to contact them in order to convince them to put an end to their hunger strike. Much like the various sectors of our society who have expressed their concern regarding the well being of these prisoners in their numerous statements, we too have always believed and continue to believe that ensuring their physical well being is of utmost importance to the future of our country.
With this goal in mind, we visited the offices of Tehran’s prosecutor in order to pursue a solution to this problem. However, despite our expectations, the prosecutor was unwilling to listen to our concerns. To make matter worse, we even encountered unreasonable and insulting behavior by security forces outside the prosecutor’s office. During this time, and because of the fact that we were kept in the dark about our loved ones, we have approached every single person we could think of within the Judiciary; all with the hope to prevent a disaster from occurring. However, not only have the judicial authorities refused to listen to anything we had to say, they even went as far as insulting and threatening anxious and concerned mothers, some of whom have been released on bail and others based on guarantees. We remain bewildered and ask what Islamic teaching licenses such indignant behavior towards concerned and anxious mothers, whose only objective has been to inquire about the well being of their loved ones?
The ongoing imprudence by officials at the Judiciary almost led to a disaster, when these same officials could have cooperated with the families from day one in order to resolve the challenges at hand. The disaster was only diverted as a result of unprecedented reaction by our beloved fellow citizens, in particular the leaders of the Green movement, civil, social and political figures, who never forgot the imprisoned children of our nation and prevented this tragedy from occurring. It is based on unconfirmed, yet fairly reliable news that we are aware of the fact that our loved ones have ended their hunger strike.
Despite this latest news, we remain extremely concerned. We have had no contact with our loved ones for 20 days. The insistence of prison officials to deny our loved ones any contact with their families and the fact that they have not been transferred from solitary confinement to the general ward at Evin 350 has raised the following questions in our minds: “Has their dire physical condition led to this complete lack of information and contact? Are our loved ones indeed okay? Have they survived the difficult conditions of their two week hunger strike?”
We the families of the political prisoners previously on hunger strike announce that these questions will remain in our minds until the time that we are given permission to visit with our loved ones. Our concern for their well being will not be alleviated until such time that we have seen them and personally inquired about their well being.
The officials at the Judiciary have told a number of the families who visited them over the past few days in order to inquire about their loved ones that since interviews and statements were given to the media regarding the status of the 17 political prisoners on hunger strike, for the time being, contact with their families will not be allowed. They were also told that when they refrain from giving interviews and statement, they will once again be allowed to see their loved ones.
The honorable Head of the Judiciary, on the eve of the sacred month of Ramadan, we ask that you prevent further concern, anguish and grief by the mothers, fathers, spouses and children of these political prisoners by allowing them to return to the general ward 350 at Evin and providing them with the possibility to meet with their families. Please put an end to this injustice by allowing the political prisoners to take advantage of their right to a temporary leave from prison during the month of Ramadan.
Source: Kaleme http://www.kaleme.com/1389/05/22/klm-28694