Political prisoners Fatemeh Mossanna and her husband Hassan Sadeghi have been banned from visiting each other in prison.
It has been reported that the authorities took this decision because Mr. Sadeghi refused to be shackled or wear prison clothes for the transfer. The prison supervisor is said to be the one who made the decision.
Ms. Mossanna and her husband were arrested on 9th April 2014 because they had organized a mourning ceremony for Gholamhossein Sadeghi (Mr. Sadeghi’s father) who died a few months previous.
Ms. Mossanna’s father-in-law died at Camp Liberty in Iraq where he was being held under siege with many other members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK), the main opposition to the Iranian regime. Camp liberty was home to some 3000 members of the MEK. After series of attacks and a long medical siege, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), led a global political effort which resulted in the transfer of all the MEK members to Albania.
The couple were both sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment each. Mr. Sadeghi has been carrying out his sentence in Gohardasht prison in Karaj while his wife has been serving hers in the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison in the country’s capital city. There are a number of other political prisoners held at Gohardasht prison who also charged with being a supporter of MEK.
The couple has faced horrific treatment by the authorities since their arrest and it was reported earlier this year that regime agents seized personal belongings from their home. They were notified that their only remaining property would be taken by the government.
The couple’s shop was also seized by the authorities as well as other properties the couple owned including one that Mr. Sadeghi inherited from his father after his death.
Sadly, the couple is no stranger to the regime’s brutality and unfair treatment. Mr. Sadeghi, as a supporter of the PMOI / MEK, spent six years in prison during the eighties from the age of just 15, simply because he was involved with political activities through the PMOI / MEK.
Having any connection with the MEK will meet severe punishments in Iran.
At the age of just 13, Ms. Mossanna spent two years in prison. At the same time, her mother, Ferdows Mahboubi, spent four years in prison. Three of her brothers, Morteza, Ali, and Mostafa were executed because of their association with the PMOI / MEK.
Back in 1980s the Iranian regime arrested, tortured and executed hundreds of thousands of the MEK members and supporters. Thousands of the MEK supporters were executed only for selling the MEK magazine on the streets of Tehran. In 1988, more than 30,000 MEK supporters, held in Iranian prisons, were executed in a matter of months.
Iman Sadeghi, the couple’s son, has spoken out about the treatment of his parents, explaining that the decision to take the family home away from him, his sister and his grandmother is despicable and leaves them with nothing.
He also explained that his parents are being denied essential medical treatment for illnesses that they suffer from. He said that the family had made medical arrangements at their own expense, but still, the prison authorities denied them treatment.
The treatment of political prisoners in Iran is very worrying. They are denied just trials, with many never attending the trial and only hearing of their sentence from their state-appointed lawyer.
Activists are continuing to voice their dissent in Iran despite the tough crackdowns that the regime orders. They risk arrest, imprisonment, torture and even execution, but they will not relent.
It is time for the international community to finally speak up in support of the people of Iran who are desperate for the respect of human rights, freedom, democracy, and peace.