Amir Abbas FAKHRAVAR

Profession: Writer, journalist for the now-banned pro-reform dailies Mosharekat and Khordad, and law student.

Date of arrest: 10 November 2002

Sentence: 8 years in prison

Expires: 9 November 2010

Details of trial: Sentenced by Bench 26 of the Revolutionary Court on or around 10 November 2002 to eight years in prison for criticising the supreme leadership of Iran in his book Inja Chah Nist (‘This Place is not a Ditch’), shortlisted for the 2001/2002 Paolo Coelho Literary Prize. Following a period of leave from Evin prison he was ordered to appear in court on 18 March for an appeal hearing. When he appeared he was denied representation by his lawyers. After an argument with the judge he was beaten in front of Bench 26 before being transferred to prison. It is thought that he may have been targeted for writing an open letter to the authorities on 4 February 2003 criticising the Iranian government and demanding a referendum on the future government of Iran.

Place of detention: Qasr prison

Treatment in prison Reportedly held amongst common law prisoners and is being denied medical treatment for the reportedly severe injuries sustained in court and an existing foot injury. Said to have been repeatedly attacked in staged assaults by fellow in-mates. In January 2004 he was taken from Qasr prison to a military detention centre for interrogation about alleged links with an opposition political organisation. He was held in solitary confinement and subjected to a technique of sensory deprivation called ‘white torture’. In February 2004 Fakhravar was reportedly allowed to leave the detention centre. However, two days later he was taken into custody again.

Health concerns: Thought to have sustained a broken leg during the court assault.

Other concerns: His sister and brother-in-law were reportedly arrested on 17 June 2003 for talking to two journalists about the incarceration of Amir Abbas Fakhravar.

Honorary member: English PEN

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/honorarymembers/iran/amirabbasfakhravar/

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