Journalist Transferred from Solitary Cell Only After Retracting Complaints of Abuse

Jun 14, 20110 comments

A source with knowledge of journalist Massoud Bastani’s situation in Rajaee Shahr Prison, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said that after retracting a complaint against the soldier who abused him, Bastani was transferred from his solitary cell to the General Ward. After Bastani and his family filed grievances against the soldier who beat him in the visitation hall in the presence of his mother, wife, and dozens of other witnesses, instead of investigating the complaints, prison authorities sent him to a solitary cell. Additionally, prison authorities charged Bastani and Issa Saharkhiz, who had gone to the aid of Bastani during the beating, with “creating an entanglement and insulting the chief warden.” “After widespread media coverage of Massoud’s beating in front of dozens of witnesses, authorities in Rajaee Shahr Prison asked him today to retract his complaint in order to return him to the General Ward, and they, too, would retract their complaint against him and Issa Saharkhiz,” said the source close to the case, who requested anonymity for security reasons. Journalist Massoud Bastani was beaten by a prison soldier last week when he asked for a few more minutes to say goodbye to his mother and wife. In a sudden move, the soldier threw him to the ground in the presence of others and hit him repeatedly in the head and face with his boot. After the beating, Bastani suffered nausea and disorientation and was transferred to hospital on his family’s request. He spent a day in hospital under observation for brain damage.