Friday , 22 September 2023

Languishing in Prison for Being the Brother of a Journalist

Iranwire – It has been 34 days since the arrest of Sajjad Shahrabi, a radio announcer and dubber who is also the brother of Shima Shahrabi, the editor-in-chief of IranWire’s Persian-language website.

It has been more than a month since the arrest of Sajjad Shahrabi, a radio announcer and dubber who is also the brother of Shima Shahrabi, the editor-in-chief of IranWire’s Persian-language website

Held in solitary confinement and interrogated for days, Shahrabi was transferred to the general ward of Tehran’s Evin prison on May 24. Officials announced a bail of 10 billion rials ($20,000) while preventing his release.

On May 3, agents from the Intelligence Ministry raided Shahrabi’s parents’ home and seized his laptop, mobile phone and banking cards, as well as US dollars that his father needs because of his jewelry and goldsmith business.

On the same day, Shahrabi was taken to the Security Prosecutor’s Office, where he was charged with gathering and colluding against the regime and with cooperating with “hostile” media.

Held in solitary confinement, Shahrabi endured harsh physical and psychological pressure during his 12-day interrogation, which focused on his sister’s activities, their relationship and the activities of IranWire. The interrogators threatened to arrest family members as a means of coercion.

Shahrabi ended a hunger strike on the 13th day when he was transferred from solitary confinement to Ward 209 of Evin prison

Meanwhile, Shahrabi’s father was summoned to an office of the Ministry of Intelligence and questioned regarding his daughter’s journalistic activities and the relationship between his children. His cell phone was also confiscated. 

None of the family’s seized items have been returned.

On the first day of Shahrabi’s arrest, he protested his temporary detention. In response to repeated inquiries from the family, the prosecutor in charge of the case said the legal process would be prolonged as the Revolutionary Court would need time to consider Shahrabi’s objection.

And on May 20, the investigator informed him he would not be released on bail unless he withdrew his objection.

Four days after withdrawing his objection, Shahrabi was transferred to the general ward of Evin prison, where Judge Mahmoud Haji Moradi, head of the prosecution branch at Evin Prosecutor’s Office, informed him that bail had been set at 10 billion rials. However, bail has since been impeded.

After several days, Judge Moradi announced he had referred the case to the Revolutionary Court, but it remains unclear which specific branch is handling it.