Free Shabnam and Farzad Madadzadeh --Sister And Brother, Iranian Prisoners Of Conscience
- Ahmed Shaheed, UN, UNHCHR, State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament
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Shabnam Madadzadeh was arrested on February 19, 2009 along with her brother Farzad Madadzadeh. She was arrested on her way to school by plainclothes officers and was kept in a police station. The officers then contacted her brother and told him that Shabnam had been arrested due to a “hejab problem”. In this manner when her brother went to the police station, they arrested him too.
Shabnam Madadzadeh is a member of Tahkim Vahdat, the union for Islamic associations of university students across the country. It is the largest student-dependent organization critical of the [Iranian] government.
In a letter from prison titled “We have observed humanity and love,” Shabnam wrote about her imprisonment:
“I see the interrogators, and the memories with the scenes of interrogations, the pressures, insults, and tortures in solitary confinement are replayed before my eye like scenes from a movie. I am reminded of the image of Farzad’s sunken look and choked voice when they brought him to me after he was beaten up, bringing in me feelings of hatred and disgust. I remember the day of a visit, after the interrogator screamed and yelled at my father, we discovered that my father had lost sight in one of his eyes as a result of the pressures he endured in the court.”
During her arrest, Shabnam Madadzadeh was put under severe psychological and physical torture, with accusations of being connected to the “mojahedin khalgh” organization.
On February 9, 2010, Shabnam and her brother were convicted of acting against national security and “moharebeh” at branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court under Judge Moghiseh. The verdict statement read for the Madadzadehs mentioned their family connections, but there was nothing that could be considered a crime. They were sentenced to 5 years exile in Rajai Shahr prison located in the city of Karaj, close to Tehran.
Shabnam has consistently been deprived of her basic human rights since the day of her arrest, and on October 14, 2010, per orders of Rajai Shahr prison officials, Shabnam was not allowed to make phone calls or have visitation with her family. She did not have any visitors until a month later on November 3rd, when her family was finally allowed to see her.
According to reports, on Sunday December 12, 2010 Farzad Madadzadeh was transferred to the Intelligence Agency’s Sepah Cellblock in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj and was physically tortured by intelligence agents for a prolonged amount of time.
This political prisoner was transferred to the Sepah Cellblock at about 3 pm. He was taken with blindfolds and shackles to this cellblock and was interrogated and pressured for several hours on why news on his condition and that of his jailed sister was published in international media.
Intelligence agents constantly punched and kicked him in the face and other parts of his body leaving him with injuries and bruises.
On Tuesday, June 28, 2011, Farzad Maddadzadeh, Behrouz Javid Tehrani, Mohammad Ali Mansouri, and Salih Kahandel have been locked up in isolation cells in Sepa Ward. No reason has been announced for this transfer.
Both brother and sister have been imprisoned, tortured and continue to endure mistreatment solely due to their peaceful activism. From their arrest to the present day, their treatment at the hands of the Islamic Republic of Iran is illegal under both international law and the Iranian constitution.