Iranian Student Activist Remains In Solitary Confinement
An Iranian student activist whose case has become a symbol for opposition
protests remains imprisoned in solitary confinement, his brother told RFE/RL's
activist Majid Tavakoli
Majid Tavakoli was arrested on December 7, 2009, after giving a speech during a
protest at Tehran's Amir Kabir University. He was sentenced in January to 8 1/2
years in prison.
Ali Tavakoli, Majid's brother, told Radio Farda on April 20 that Majid's lawyer,
Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, was not allowed to enter the courtroom during Majid's
"Majid told me that [the court case against him] is four pages long -- merely
about a speech he gave," Ali said. He described the charges against Majid --
which included insulting the supreme leader and the president, spreading
propaganda against the regime, and collusion -- as "baseless."
Ali Tavakoli said his brother has "unlawfully" been kept in solitary confinement
at Tehran's Evin prison. "According to law, Majid should have been transferred
to the prison's public ward after his sentence was issued, but he was not," Ali
He added that he visited his brother for 15 minutes at the prison on April 14.
He said Majid's physical health has deteriorated after four months in solitary
photo distributed by government
press after Tavakoli was detained
Authorities said Majid was taken into custody wearing a veil, suggesting that he
dressed as a woman in an effort to avoid arrest. Witnesses who saw Majid at the
university the day of his detention say he was not wearing a veil.
Iranian opposition activists have mounted a campaign in support of Majid in
which men wore veils in a symbolic protest.
Iranian men wearing head covers in support of
Tavakoli was awarded the Homo Homini prize on March 10. The award is given
annually by the Prague-based NGO People in Need "in recognition of a dedication
to the promotion of human rights, democracy, and nonviolent solutions to
Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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