Still No Furlough For Ahmad Zeidabadi

Dec 9, 20100 comments

In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Mahdieh Mohammadi, wife of imprisoned journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi, said that authorities have not upheld their promise for a furlough and this has caused anguish for her children.  “They sent us back and forth for three whole months and in the end, Zeidabadi’s furlough didn’t materialize. Three months ago, the Intelligence Ministry sent me a message and then talked to me. Some time later, the Prosecutor’s Office told me to take a [property] deed to them [to be used for bail proceedings]. When we took the deed to them, they said ‘Who told you to bring a deed?’ After all this bouncing back and forth, despite the Intelligence Ministry’s agreement and their sending a letter of agreement to the Prosecutor’s Office, nothing happened. The Deputy Prosecutor had even seen Zeidabadi, and told him ‘When you go out, don’t engage in political activities, and don’t visit with political leaders,’” she told the Campaign. “After three months, nothing has happened. Maybe they couldn’t reach consensus, or this was all to taunt us. Maybe this is a method to mock the prisoner and his family,” Mohammadi told the Campaign. “Despite the recent mistreatment, Zeidabadi’s morale is up, thank God. We had become accustomed to the prison routine. To be sure, when there are no new developments, people get used to the routine. They sent us a message, telling us that they wanted to grant Zeidabadi furlough. They summoned me and told me that they wanted to send him out. I wish they wouldn’t do these things with us, at least. My kids were all excited about seeing their father and now it’s difficult for them to accept again that they won’t be seeing him,” said Mohammadi about her prison visit with Zeidabadi last week. “I don’t know who disagreed with his release, but I wish they would let things take their normal course so that we can get used to things. This way, they damaged both the prisoner’s and his family’s morale. Perhaps some take pleasure in abusing us,” added Mohammadi. Ahmad Zeidabadi, reformist journalist, political analyst, and Secretary General of the Iranian Alumni Association (Advar Tahkim Vahdat), was arrested two days after the 2009 presidential elections in Iran. He was sentenced to six years in prison, five years’ exile to Gonabad, and a lifetime ban on all political activities. After more than 1.5 years in prison, Zeidabadi has not been afforded his basic rights, including prison furlough.