On December 11th, 2008, I was finally allowed to meet with Saeed in Evin prison. At that time, I was told that his interrogation was over. I barely recognized him when I first saw him. He had lost so much weight and he could not stop shaking. It was obvious to me that he was being tortured physically and psychologically. He was in extremely bad condition. He told me that even after he confessed to whatever the interrogators wanted him to confess to, he was told that they will keep him in solitary confinement until everybody forgets about him. When he told them that by law confession under pressure were not admissible in court, they told him: “The judge is one of ours and he will be on our side. We also make your case file very thick, with prints of your emails, and the prints of the web pages, so that the judge would not have the patience to go through them all, and he will just read our brief report.”
On that visit, Saeed insisted that I leave Iran and not come back because, until he knew that I was safe, he did not feel that he would be able to do anything to defend himself. Saeed also asked me to contact the Canadian embassy in Iran to get help, but when I was about to leave the prison, one of the interrogators who was watching us remotely, warned me not do anything stupid, otherwise we would face serious consequences. After my one visit in prison, I received only a two-minute phone call from Saeed; it was a week before my departure at the end of December; and after arriving back in Canada I had no contact with him until August 2009.
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Three weeks after Saeed’s arrest, on Oct 18th 2008, I arrived in Tehran. In the meantime, members of both his and my family had repeatedly visited the Revolutionary Court and the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office, but the officials in charge refused to disclose his status, and didn’t give us any information about the charges against him. In November 2008, I received a phone call by people who claimed to be in charge of his case but refused to tell me their names, who summoned me to answer some questions at the Ministry for Culture and Islamic Guidance (Ershad), even though they insisted not to be affiliated with the Ministry (so that I wouldn’t follow up on Saeed’s case with them). They interrogated me for several hours, and pressured me to give them all of my e-mail addresses and the associated passwords, as well as our Canadian bank account number. I was also warned not to talk to the media to take Saeed’s case public, and told not to seek assistance of Canadian government or Civil rights organizations. Threats were made against me personally, against Saeed and against our families should I do so.
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On March 16th, 2010, his first trial session was held behind closed doors at the 28th branch of the Revolutionary Court, presided by judge Moghiseh. Saeed’s lawyer was not allowed to attend the trial and Saeed himself did not know the content of his case file. He got informed that his accusations include: “Conspiracy to commit crimes against national security,” “Insulting Islam,” “Insulting the Iranian Supreme Leader,” “Insulting the Iranian president, Mr. Ahmadinedjad.” and he would be charged as “Corrupter of the Earth” (Mofsed fel-Arz), a charge that is punishable by the death sentence.
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