Sunday , 5 April 2020

Detained Iranian-British Anthropologist Says Charges Based on Government-Approved Research

CHRI – Kameel Ahmady Was Held in Solitary Confinement for Nearly a Month, Detention Order Extended

Held in solitary confinement since being arrested in Tehran on August 11, 2019, Iranian-British anthropologist Kameel Ahmady will remain in detention for a minimum of several more weeks, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.

“Kameel was very optimistic about being released on bail soon but unfortunately … we discovered that the detention order has been extended for another month,” his wife, Shafagh Rahmani, told CHRI on September 15, 2019.

Rahmani said she was allowed to visit her husband in the presence of unidentified agents for the first time on September 8, nearly a month after he was arrested. The meeting lasted 50 minutes.

“That morning my son and I got to see him,” Rahmani said. “The agents had brought him to the courthouse and we were able to see him in one of the rooms—in the presence of a few agents of course.”

Ahmady told her that he was no longer being interrogated and that he had been moved from solitary confinement to a cell with two other inmates, she added.

“Kameel could not speak freely [in front of the agents],” Rahmani told CHRI. “He said the charges against him are based on his research, even though all his work had been published with permission from the Islamic Guidance Ministry.”

An independent researcher focusing on societal issues including child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), Ahmady is among several Iranian-British dual citizens currently imprisoned in Iran.

Iran is currently holding several other academics who have foreign ties including American scholar Xiyue Wang, Swedish-Iranian scholar Ahmadreza Djalali, Iranian-French scholar Fariba Adelkhah, and Australian scholar Kylie Moore-Gilbert.

Ahmady became a British citizen 25 years ago but has only traveled to the UK a few times during the past 15 years, according to his wife.