The family of imprisoned Baluchi civil rights activist Emadeddin Mollazehi has not heard from him since he was moved on March 14, 2018, from Saravan Prison in Sistan and Baluchistan Province in southeastern Iran to an unknown location.
“Emadeddin was unjustly arrested and imprisoned but now that he has been sentenced, why should his family be kept in the dark?” a source close to Mollazehi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on the condition of anonymity for security reasons.
“He has been missing for 17 days and one official says he was taken to the Intelligence Ministry’s office, another says he has been transferred to a prison in Zahedan [city] but during this time, he has not made a phone call and the Intelligence Ministry has not responded to any inquiries so at least the family could know where and how he is,” added the source.
The source also told CHRI that Mollazehi was being punished by judicial and Intelligence Ministry officials for informing the public about his condition before he went missing.
“The prosecutor came to Saravan prison and in front of 200 inmates told Emadeddin that he would not let him go free even if a release order came from Tehran,” said the source.
“Emadeddin wrote to the judiciary and complained that this was unlawful interference in his case but got no response,” the source added.
The 34-year-old shopkeeper, who was previously imprisoned from 2009 to 2013 on national security charges for his peaceful activities, was arrested by the Intelligence Ministry along with his friend, Yaghoub Jahandideh, in Saravan in late October 2016 and prosecuted based on false confessions extracted under torture according to the source.
After a closed-door trial held in February and March 2017 without the presence of defense attorneys, Mollazehi and Jahandideh were sentenced to 10 years in prison each for the charges of “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the state” by Judge Sadegh Saberi of Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Saravan.
The sentences were later upheld upon appeal.