Reports from Iran indicate that Mohammad Tavassoli, the political advisor to the Freedom Movement Party, is under serious pressure from prison authorities and he has not been allowed to contact his family since he was arrested 20 days ago.
Mehdi Noorbakhsh told the International Campaign for Human Rights that Tavassoli’s family has not been yet informed about his whereabouts or the charges against him.
Tavassoli was arrested on November 3 in connection with an open letter addressed to former president Mohammad Khatami. The letter, signed by 143 Iranian activists, stated that there is little hope for transparency and openness in the coming parliamentary elections.
Noorbakhsh indicated that in the weeks after Tavassoli’s arrest, other signatories to the letter have also been summoned by the Intelligence Ministry and questioned about the veracity of their signatures.
The letter cites the growing influence of military and security forces in the elections process and how that flies in the face of the open elections promised by the government.
Mohammad Tavassoli served as Tehran’s first mayor after the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
He was arrested for two months in the election protests of 2009.