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Oxford Student Activist In Solitary Confinement In Iran

An Iranian doctoral student at Oxford who campaigned in Iran last year for opposition leader Mir Hussein Musavi is being held in solitary confinement by Iranian authorities, his wife told RFE/RL's Radio Farda.

Fatemeh Shams, who lives in England, told Radio Farda on June 22 that her husband, Mohammad Reza Jalaeipour, contacted his family six days after his June 14 arrest.

"In a short phone call, he told his mother that he was being held in solitary [confinement], but when asked in which prison, he remained silent," Shams said. "So we don't know in whose custody he is and why he is being detained."

Jalaeipour, 27, is a member of the Third Wave campaign, a reformist youth movement that supported Musavi's candidacy in the controversial presidential election in June 2009. He was first arrested on June 17, 2009, with street protests raging just five days after the disputed vote. He was released after spending 80 days in Tehran's Evin prison.

Jalaeipour was rearrested on June 14, 2010, when he went to collect his passport, which had been confiscated from him earlier.

"Two days before Mohammad Reza's arrest, I received threatening e-mails from a group called the Cyber Army of the Islamic Republic saying 'we'll arrest your husband,'" Shams told Radio Farda.

Jalaeipour's wife added that the same group sent her another threatening e-mail after her husband's arrest saying, "We'll make you return to Tehran."

Margaret MacMillan, the head of Oxford's Saint Antony's College, recently wrote to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressing her concern for Jalaeipour.

MacMillan expressed concern, too, about Jalaeipour's wife, who is a student at the same college.

"She has not only endured months of unhappiness at being separated from her husband, but she now suffers the added cruelty of receiving threatening and abusive e-mails," MacMillan wrote. "I urge you to find who is responsible for these disgraceful attacks and put a stop to them."