The Iranian judiciary is denying political prisoners the leave customarily given to prisoners for Norooz, the Iranian New Year that begins on the first day of spring.
Kaleme reports that several families of political detainees had applied for a few days of leave for their jailed relatives but were turned down by the authorities.
Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi said today that leave is being denied to any prisoners considered at risk of continuing their political activities upon release.
The banned activities include issuing announcements, publishing articles and attending meetings.
The opposition website Kaleme reports that families of two prominent casualties of the Iran-Iraq War, Ebrahim Hemmat and Hamid Bakeri, sent a letter to the prosecutor urging him to allow political prisoners spend the Norooz holidays with their families.
They wrote: “While the most dangerous criminals and drug traffickers with heavy criminal records are allowed to avail themselves of leaves on Norooz, it is not befitting that political prisoners, some of whom were veterans of the Holy Defence (Iran-Iraq War,) be denied this absolute right.”
Even a short leave reportedly requires approval from various government bodies, including the ministry of intelligence, the Revolutionary Guards and the prisoners’ interrogators. In that light, Iranian political prisoners seems to have a very slim chance of receiving New Year’s leave.