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Interview with Mahdi Farahi Shandiz, a political Prisoner

Mahdi Farahi Shandiz is a Political Prisoner at Karaj Rajaee Shahr who has been subjected to less attention by media. During the prosecution he was denied the right to have lawyer and although he has served his sentence, his release from prison is denied based on new charges and allegations. Here is his interview with HRANA’s reporterc_250_150_16777215_00___images_mehdi.farahi.shandiz1-380x300.jpg

 

Please introduce yourself and explain about your case

Long live the Human Rights Activists. I am Mahdi Farahi Shahndiz the son of Ibrahim , have been arrested several times and prisoned  by the dictatorship  regime of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists on the charges of propaganda against state, acting against national security and insulting the Supreme Leader. My last imprisonment sentence started 02 January 2012, and my eye and my hand were injured under torture and although I have requested treatments several times, my requests were ignored.

I was arrested in May along with 150 others and was taken to Evin Prison where I spent 9 months in solitary confinement and I got released after 9 months. On the night of my arrest, Intelligence Services confiscated some of my belongings and I was trying to get them back through Branch 6 of Islamic Revolutionary Court. Of course, they did not tell me my belongings are with Intelligence Services I have been passed from one place to another, from Evin Prison to National Security Police (Police Amniyat) and then to 3rd Branch of National Security Police. During this wild goose chase, once I attempted to visit the Enforcement Office at Islamic Revolutionary Court but prevented from entering so that I could get back my belongings. I shouted “Death to Khameneie” and my hand bumped into a piece of glass on their desk and broke it.  I was told to enter and I did. On my way out, I was arrested by a Security officer and handed me over to the National Security Police.  After 3 days the Assistant to the Public Prosecutor Mr “Samyari” -from Branch 8 of Assistant office to the Public Prosecutor at Islamic Revolutionary Court – asked if I do have the ability to place the bail. My answer was negative so I have been sent to Kahrizak Prison where I held for a month. Then I was sent to Evin Prison but they refused to accept me so I ended up at Qezel Hesar Prison. I stayed for a month then I placed the bail and got released. My hearing was held in May 2011 and Judge Moqeyseh sentenced me to three years imprisonment. Two doormen from Islamic Revolutionary Court were brought in as witnesses and they stated that I had broken a glass and Shouted “Death to Khameneie”. After the verdict was issued, I made a complaint and the case was sent to Appeal Court. My sentence was approved at the Appeal Court and then I received a letter which demanded that I have to introduce myself to Evin Prison and to the Moqaddas Court. To make the story short, I went to Evin Prison on 02 January 2012 and was prisoned at Ward 350 for one year. Of course, because I was writing mottos and shouting them I was sent to solitary confinement many times. After Sattar Beheshti was killed, the head of Ward 350 was replaced by someone called Mr “Momeni” and he sent me to solitary confinement once because I continued writing and shouting mottos. These mottos were usually “Death to Khameneie”, “Death to Dictator” and “Long live freedom”. While I was in solitary confinement at Ward 240 he came to see me and told me that I will not return to Ward 350 if I continue doing this and will be sending to another ward. I was transferred to Correctional 8 of Evin Prison as I refused to promise

 

Please explain about your current situation and the tortures you have been through

They teased me a lot. Once I was shouting “Death to Khameneie”, so on 3 September 2013, the wardens brought in a pro-government prisoner into my cell. My eye was damaged when this prisoner attacked me. In fact, the injured eye is the one hit by him and now there is a black spot in my eye which has affected my vision

They put a lot of pressure on me by other inmates. I was even threatened to death by him. These threats continued until I was sent to Rajaee Shahr Prison. I do not know the reason for my exile but I guess it was because I stood up during the national anthem on Eid Qadir ceremony. I was kept in Correctional 1 and then sent to Correctional 2. The conditions are not acceptable. For example, praying, worship and such are compulsory and there are mental tortures. Well, if you are a political prisoner and you are kept in a non-political ward will cause so many problems

Please explain about your case and the stage it is at the moment

I have two cases. One of them is with Jadge “Salavati” and the other with Judge “Moqeyse”. In both cases, my charges are insulting the Supreme Leader. They are not going to issue the verdict and they are using this opportunity to tease me. They also do not accept bail from me

 I heard that you were sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, is this true

That sentence was served on 25 October 2014. Salavati and Moqeyse refuse to issue verdict for these new cases. Both enforced at Evin Prison meaning that new cases have been opened on the charges of insulting the Supreme Leader. My charges were insulting the Supreme Leader and disturbing the public peace

How is the situation with visitors at Rajaee Shahr Prison

At the moment there is no problem with visits and they are allowed. Unfortunately, I am prisoned among Non-Political Prisoners. At the moment I am kept at Correctional 2 and in Quran House. I have requested a transfer to Ward 12 so I can be with other Political Prisoners but they refuse to send me. I heard that two prisoners went on hunger strike and then were transferred there

Have you ever asked them to attend to your open cases

Yes, I have. But they will not listen to me. A Lawyer is needed to attend to my cases, a Human Right Lawyer

Did you have lawyer for your previous case which ended up with 3 years sentence

No, I did not have a lawyer for that case. I have made a lot of follow up but none accepted my case. I was looking for a Legal Aid to help me free of charge but I was not able to find one

When did they open these two recent cases for you

In 2012 and 2013 two new cases were opened for me on the charges of insulting the Supreme Leader at branch 5 of Prosecution Office in Shahid Moqaddas Court at Evin Prison. One is no B5/91353 on 07 April 2013 with Judge Salavati and the other one is B5/920183 on 06 May 2013 with judge Moqeyse. But these two branches at Islamic Revolutionary Court neither close the cases nor sentence me for a crime. Considering that I do not have a legal representative I request all the Human Rights Activists to make every effort to find me a lawyer and for my release from prison

Can I quote your words directly

Yes, you can

 HRANA News Agency

 

 

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