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Iran: Amnesty International Calls for Immediate and Unconditional Release of Journalist From Prison

She is currently in solitary confinement at the notorious Evin prison in Iran’s capital city. 

Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, Magdalena Mughrabi, said that the fact Shahidi was even arrested in the first place shows the true nature of the Iranian regime and called for her immediate release without conditions. She said: “Hengameh Shahidi’s arbitrary arrest and detention shows again the Iranian authorities’ utter contempt for human rights. They must release her immediately and unconditionally as she appears to be held solely for exercising her rights to freedom of expression and association.” 

She added that Shahidi is undergoing unnecessary suffering because the authorities are withholding the health care she desperately needs: “One month into Hengameh Shahidi’s detention, the authorities have still not provided her access to a specialist heart doctor. Instead of prolonging her suffering, the authorities must immediately give her the specialized medical treatment she needs.”

Shahidi’s family was informed this week by the Office of the Prosecutor that she would receive a visit in the next few days from doctors of the Legal Medicine Organization – a state forensic institute – for examination. This came as a result of numerous requests made by Shahidi’s family to get her the specialist health care she requires. 

Shahidi’s mother said that her daughter told the person interrogating her that “if something happens to me, you will have to answer for it… The President, Ministry of Intelligence, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the judiciary [will be] responsible for my death.”

She has still not been told what she has been charged with and has been denied regular contact with her family. She has also been denied contact with her lawyer. 

This is not the first time Shahidi has been arrested. In 2009 she was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison for “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security” and “spreading propaganda against the system” because of her activism and her work as a journalist. She was released two years later on medical grounds. 

There are several journalists who have been imprisoned in Iran recently. Also arrested were Ehsan Mazandarani, a newspaper editor, and magazine editor, Morad Saghafi. 

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