Iranian political prisoner Farah Vazehan has been handed a 17-year prison sentence and exiled to Rejaisharh Prison in Karaj by the Islamic Republic court, following the Supreme Court’s overturning of her death sentence.
The 48-year-old mother of two was arrested in December 2009 along with her husband and two children but was transferred to solitary confinement.
While her family were released after a month, she was taken to the women’s section of Evin Prison after 40 days in solitary.
Last September, Vazehan was transferred to a hospital for treatment of heart complications. In November, she was transferred to the notorious “Methadone” section of Evin Prison along with other female political prisoners.
The so-called Methadone section is where dangerous criminals and drug addicts are held and inmates are allowed less than an hour of fresh air each day. Prisoners in this section are also denied books, library facilities and the use of telephones. They are only allowed family visits from inside a cabin.
Vazehan was sentenced to death last August by branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court for taking part in street demonstrations and “Moharebeh (enmity against God) through collaboration with the People’s Mojahedin Organization.”
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran is an exiled Iranian dissident group, which the Islamic Republic considers an archenemy. Many people accused of having membership or links to this organization have been sentenced death.
Vazehan’s death sentence was approved by the appellate court but rejected by the Supreme Court and returned to branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court for review.
During the clampdown on protesters who disputed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the presidential elections of 2009, a number of detainees who had family members in the PMOI were accused of collaborating with the exiled political group.
Ali Saremi, Jafar Kazemi and MohammadAli Hagaghai are three of the political prisoners who were executed in the past three months for having links to the People’s Mojahedin Organization. Family members of all three prisoners were linked to the People’s Mojahedin.
Farah Vazehan’s sister is also a member of the PMOI, which according to her family is the source of the accusations against her.