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Iran Detainees' Families Kept Away On New Year


Evin prison includes a cell block thought to be run by Iranian intelligence services.

Evin prison includes a cell block thought to be run by Iranian intelligence services.

The mother of a jailed Iranian activist says families were banned from celebrating the Persian New Year outside the notorious Tehran prison where their relatives are being held, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Parvin Mokhtare, the mother of rights activist Kouhyar Goudarzi, told RFE/RL that she and a number of other inmates' relatives planned to gather outside Evin prison shortly before New Year's Day on March 21.

"We decided to set the [traditional] 'haftsin' table outside the prison walls to feel closer to our loved ones in jail," she said. "But we were faced with police and other armed forces who had blocked the streets leading to Evin Prison."

Goudarzi is a student at Sharif University in Tehran and a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. He has been in detention since December 20.

"The last time I met my son he told me that during interrogations he was pressured to reveal his e-mail password as well as that of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters website, but he refused to do so," Mokhtare said.

Mokhtare added that she had brought some books along with her for the visit but that officials refused to give them to her son.

"They take our children from universities [and put them in] small, dark, solitary confinement [cells] with no air or sun, yet they don't even allow them a book," she said.
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