Majid Tavakoly: Four Months in Detention Without Access to Lawyer or Visitation With Family

Apr 26, 20100 comments

Four months after his arrest, Majid Tavakoly, an Amir Kabir University student, continues to be deprived of access to his lawyers. Three months after the member of Amir Kabir University Islamic Association received a sentence of eight years and six months’ imprisonment, five years’ deprivation of education, and a five year ban on traveling abroad by Judge Salavati, Head of Branch 15 of Revolutionary Courts, he continues to be illegally denied access to his lawyers and right to telephone calls, access to books and newspaper, or visitation rights with his family on orders from judicial authorities. He was transferred to Ward 7 of Evin prison on April 20, 2010, after serving 125 days in solitary confinement. After months of fruitless follow-up, Majid Tavakoly’s family were finally able to visit him on April 15, 2010 for 15 minutes. In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran , his brother Ali Tavakoly said: “His lawyers, Mr. Dadkhah and Mr. Alizadeh Tabatabaee have not been able to meet with Majid.” Reporting his brother’s transfer to the General Ward, Ali Tavakoly described Majid’s mental state as satisfactory and said: “His psychological state was very good but he had become weak and thin. After four months in solitary confinement under difficult conditions, it is natural that he wouldn’t be in good physical shape. Fortunately we were able to meet with him a few days ago. He has been transferred to the General Ward.” According to Ali Tavakoly, Majid Tavakoly was sentenced three months ago and his illegal continued detention in solitary confinement has been under difficult conditions. “Majid was under interrogation for two weeks and after that he didn’t have any more interrogation sessions. In fact his interrogations were completed by late December. When his sentence was issued, he was moved to solitary confinement and we were not able to have any visits with him and because he wasn’t yet placed, we didn’t have an opportunity to talk to him. Exactly one week before he was moved to the General Ward, we were able to visit him in person for 15 minutes. He was moved to the General Ward two days ago.” Regarding the review process of his brother’s case, Ali Tavakoly told the Campaign: “Because we were unable to have visits with him and the lawyers were not allowed to meet him either, it is difficult to express an opinion about the process. If there is a chance for him to contact us over the next few days, perhaps we can talk about this subject. His conditions are very difficult. During our visit with him, we weren’t allowed to talk to him about his case or his interrogations.” Despite objections from the student activist’s family, prison authorities have not allowed delivery of Majid Tavakoly’s personal items to his family. Majid Tavakoly is a member of Tehran Polytechnic (Amir Kabir) University’s Islamic Association. He was first arrested in June 2009 and released after three months. He was arrested again on December 7, 2009, following a speech he made to Amir Kabir University students. As he tried to leave the university campus, he was severely beaten by security agents and arrested. In an extraordinary move, Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the IRGC, published a photograph of Majid Tavakoly clad in women’s clothing, stating: “Majid Tavakoly, the leader of rioters was arrested.” The News Agency noted that Majid Tavakoly had a record of insulting Islamic sanctities. Prior to his recent arrests, Tavakoly had been arrested and imprisoned twice, once in 2008 during the fabrication of student publications when he served 1.5 years in prison, and another time in February 2009, when he participated in a memorial service for Mehdi Bazrgan, when he was imprisoned for more than 4 months. Source: