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Iranian Journalist's Mother: Charges 'Big Misunderstanding'

Nazanin Khosravani was arrested in November
The mother of an Iranian journalist held in Tehran's Evin prison has described as a "big misunderstanding" the charge leveled against her daughter of acting against national security, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Tehran chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi announced earlier this week that Nazanin Khosravani will be tried on a charge of acting against national security.

It was the first time since Khosravani's November 2 arrest that authorities had made public the charges against her.

Khosravani's mother, Azam Afsharian, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda on December 9 that her daughter has not worked for any journalistic organization for the past year and the charges are without foundation.

"This is all a big misunderstanding and I shall hold the chief prosecutor accountable if the court does not drop the charges against her," Afsharian said.

Afsharian says Khosravani has called her only once since her arrest and talked for only one minute. Khosravani said then she was being held in solitary confinement in Branch 209 of Evin prison.

Afsharian said all her subsequent attempts to contact her daughter have failed.

"I consulted the authorities almost every day; writing interminable applications to the prosecutor, but I was not granted a single visit or even a telephone conversation with my daughter," she said.

Afsharian said she has received no new information about her daughter's condition for the past 40 days, and is now extremely worried. She said when she last inquired at the prosecutor's office, one of his assistants taunted her, saying "Let's just hope your daughter is still alive."

Afsharian said Dolatabadi asked her not to agree to any interview with the media if she wants to help her daughter. But she said, "I believe it is my right to do so as I have not received a proper answer from the authorities and this is the only way left for me to convey my message to them."