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Prisoners' Health Concerns, Group Trial Death Sentence

Ebrahim Yazdi, Secretary General of the Freedom Movement of Iran
Ebrahim Yazdi, Secretary General of the Freedom Movement of Iran

Elderly Activist Struggles With Health In Iranian Prison

Ebrahim Yazdi, the secretary general of the Freedom Movement of Iran, has been transferred from prison to the hospital, Radio Farda reports.

Yazdi, who was arrested after the December 27 Ashura demonstrations, is 78 and suffering from cancer.

Mehdi Nourbakhsh, Yazdi’s son-in-law, who lives in Pennsylvania, tells Radio Farda that his father-in-law was transferred to the hospital more than a week ago. Although doctors warned that he should remain in the hospital, he was returned to jail, only to be transferred to the hospital again a few days later.

Nourbakhsh says Yazdi's lawyers have no information about his situation.

Nourbakhsh says that more than 20 members of the Freedom Movement are now in prison. "We don't know what they [officials] want to do," he says. "Many of the [Freedom] Movement are now in prison and no one knows what will happen."

Nourbakhsh also says that there are other elderly prisoners with declining health, such as Mohammad Maleki, a cancer-stricken 76-year-old political activist and Behzad Nabavi, a 67-year-old political activist with heart problems.
[read in Farsi]

Iranian Sentenced To Death After Group Trial

Ahmad Karimi, who was arrested more than a month before June's presidential election, was sentenced to death after his inclusion in a group trial for detainees linked to post-election protests, Radio Farda reports. Karimi was charged with moharebeh, or "waging war against God."

Karimi's mother, Fatemeh Baqcheh-Qazi, describes the circumstances that led to her son's arrest. She says that her son was unemployed when he was offered a job in the United States. Hoping to travel to the U.S., he went to Iraq's Kurdish region. But when he was unable to get to the United States, he returned to Iran to work as a carpenter.

According to his mother, Karimi was arrested by officers from the Intelligence Ministry several months after returning to Iran.

Baqcheh-Qazi says her son is not at all political and knows nothing about politics. "If he was in politics, why would he work as a carpenter?" she asks. “I went to the President’s office, the Supreme Leader’s office, the Judiciary, but they are not answering me. I don’t know what to do."

Ahmad’s family has written a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations, asking the U.N. to consider his case.

This is at least the second time a prisoner who was arrested before the election has been included in a group trial of individuals linked to post-election protests. On January 19, two men were executed after being found guilty in a group trial of post-election detainees, despite having been arrested before the election.
[listen in Farsi]