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Iran: Jailed Journalist Says He Was 'Dishonored' In Prison

By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

The family of jailed journalist Abdolreza Tajik has issued an open letter to Iran's judiciary officials and expressed deep concern over his fate in prison. The family says Tajik, who was arrested 40 days ago, told his sister during a prison visit that he has been "disgraced" in the presence of a deputy prosecutor and an interrogator.

Abdolreza Tajik

Tajik reportedly refused to explain what he meant by "dishonored." He just told his sister to tell his lawyer and the state prosecutor about it and added that "they will understand what it means."

The comments have led to speculation that he might have been sexually abused in prison. 

Tajik's lawyer, Mohammad Sharif, who has not been allowed to meet his client since his arrest, told Radio Farda that whenever talk of being "dishonored" comes up in relation to detainees, physical and sexual assault come to mind.

Sharif expressed serious concern over the situation of Tajik in prison and said that he hopes authorities will allow him and the family to meet Tajik or speak to him by phone.

A number of detainees, including at least one journalst, have claimed that they were raped in prison after their arrest during the Iranian government's crackdown in reaction to street protests over the reelection of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Tajik has been arrested twice since the postelection crackdown began and released on bail after being charged with "acting against Iran's national security." He was arrested for the first time on June 13 on unknown charges. Since then, he has been allowed to meet with his sister just once.

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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