Bahareh Hedayat Continues to be Banned from Visits A Year into her 9.5 Year Prison Term
Interview with Amin Ahmadian, Bahareh’s Husband
Saturday 1 January 2011
Change for Equality: On December 24, Bahareh’s family who had gone to Evin prison for their visit with this women’s rights and student activist, were denied the opportunity to see her. Prison officials informed Bahareh’s family that she is banned from further visits for an indefinite period of time. Bahareh had started a hunger strike to protest her condition in prison and the illegal treatement she was receiving, but ended her hunger strike based on pleas by her family. It should also be noted that her physical situation at present is not well either. She needs medical attention for treatment of gallbladder stones, which she has been refused by prison officials.
Hedayat, a well known student and women’s rights activist, has been sentenced to serve 9 years and 6 months in prison in relation to her student rights and women’s rights activities. She was arrested a year ago and has been in prison since. She is currently facing new charges in relation to a letter that she allegedly wrote from inside prison on the occasion of Student Day (December 7). It should be noted that Hedayat was sentenced to 7and half years in relation to her student rights activities and is serving an additional 2 year sentence in relation to her women’s rights activities. Bahareh Hedayat is also an activists in the One Million Signatures Campaign and has played a critical role in connecting the women’s and student movements.
The site of Change for Equality conducted an interview with Amin Ahmadian, Bahareh’s husband on latest information on her situation:
Q: Were you able to visit your wife today at Evin Prison?
A: No. They informed us today that Bahareh has been banned from visits for until further notice, but did not explain when this period would end.
Q: Have you had any contact with Bahareh during the time she was on hunger strike and banned from visits?
A: It has been 3 weeks since our last visit, which takes place behind a window in a cabin. I should mention that it has been 8 months since we had a visit in person and three months since she was allowed to phone me or other family members.
Q: Have prison officials explained the reasons for these restrictions to you?
A: We have gone to the prosecutor’s office on several occasions with no results. But as far as we could gather it seems that a new case has been brought against Bahareh and Majid Tavakoli in Branch 4 of the Prosecutor’s office in Evin prison. We guess that Bahareh’s hunger strike and her subsequent ban from having visitors in prison is related to this new case pending against her.
Q: Have you been in touch with the Bahareh’s lawyers?
A: After we were informed that Bahareh had been banned from visits, we contacted Mr. Pour Babaie, her lawyer. He explained that after the sentence against a client has been implemented the lawyers have no role to play in the situation of the prisoner. Prior to this we had contacted Mr. Pour Babaie and also Mr. Hojati, the other lawyer who had represented Bahareh, about the treatment she was receiving in prison. Both believed that while in prison and while she is serving her prison term, lawyers could not impact her situation. We have also contacted the prosecutor’s office at Evin prison and the prosecutor and have not received any clear cut answers from them.
Q: What information can you provide about the health of Bahareh?
A: I have no information. The only information we have managed to receive is that Bahareh ended her hunger strike on 25 December. Last week we had managed to send her a message in prison through other prisoners asking that she end her hunger strike. Prisoners in her ward have informed us indirectly that she has agreed to end her hunger strike.