The mother of jailed Iranian student activist Ashkan Zahabian has expressed her concern for her son’s well-being after she was barred from visiting him in prison.
Roghieh Jafarian told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that her son, who was arrested 16 days ago, has been denied visitation privileges. Although officials have been courteous, she has been given the runaround in government offices.
Jafarian added that since Zahabian’s arrest, he has contacted home only once, by phone, after which media reported that he had been hospitalized.
His mother says the family has contacted the Ministry of Intelligence, which gave assurances that their son is well and there is no cause for concern.
Zahabian was first arrested for his student activism in 2008 and suspended from university classes for a term. He was arrested again in June of 2009, four days after the controversial presidential election that triggered widespread protests across Iran.
He was reportedly subjected to a severe beating during his arrest by plainclothes government forces.
He was arrested against in the November of 2009 and sentenced to six months in prison, charged with disturbing national security. He was later banned from continuing his education and finishing his degree, when he was just one term shy of completing his program.