Jailed journalist moved to solitary again

Wed, 06/08/2011

Mehdi Mahmoudian, the jailed Iranian journalist who recently exposed the prevalence of sexual abuse in Iranian prisons, has been transferred to solitary confinement again.

The Tahavol-e Sabz opposition website reports that officials at Rejai Shahr Prison transferred Mahmoudian yesterday without any explanation.

The jailed journalist was held in solitary for more than 10 days last month when his letter to Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, was published on opposition websites, describing the rape and sexual abuse that goes on in prison.

Mahmoudian was arrested last year in connection with the protests that followed the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009. The journalist was sentenced to five years in prison for the charge of “collusion against the regime.”

After the controversial presidential election of 2009, dozens of journalists were arrested in the crackdown on protesters. Reporters Without Borders refers to Iran as the biggest jailor of journalists in the Middle East.

In an announcement published yesterday, several Iranian political prisoners, including Mahmoudian, called on opposition forces to join a march of silence on June 12, the anniversary of the 2009 election.

Joining in the call for the June 12 march is the Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope, the group that speaks for opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who are currently under house arrest and cut off from any public contact.

Chief among the council’s demands are “the release of the leaders of the movement and all political prisoners, free elections and immediate and effective action against inflation and unemployment.”




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