Imprisoned political activist Abolfazl Ghadyani is to serve an additional three years in jail, according to a ruling handed down by an Iranian court.
A senior member of the pro-reform Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organisation (MIRO), Ghadyani was initially arrested on 28 December 2009, a day after opposition rallies known as the “Ashura” protests.
Following his court trial, the 66-year-old was sentenced to a year in prison for “insulting the president.”
“Ahmadinejad is a liar, a deceiver, a autocrat, a law-breaking and unlawful person and this is his true description. I’ve said these in my defence and in court. I did not insult Ahmadinejad, I [simply] recounted his characteristics and what I said was not an insult, but a critique,” he told Kaleme, a website close to opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi.
Ghadyani’s one-year jail term came to an end on 25 November, however following a ruling by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, he received an additional three-year prison sentence for “insulting the leader.” He refused to show up at his trial two months ago, describing the proceedings as “illegal.” “A political trial must be public and with a jury, therefore this court is illegal and its administrator a criminal,” he maintained.
Despite undergoing a heart surgery, the ailing activist was recently returned to Evin prison’s ward 350 shortly after his release from hospital.
Since his arrest, the Ghadyani family have voiced their concern over his physical health under detention. In an interview with Kaleme, Ghadyani’s wife said Iran’s security apparatus might be seeking a repeat of happened to fellow inmate Hoda Saber, who died of a heart attack after spending ten days on hunger strike. Saber’s strike was in protest against the death of another dissident Haleh Sahabi in June 2011. She had died of a heart attack during scuffles with security forces at the funeral of her father, Ezatollah Sahabi, the head of Iran’s Nationalist-Religious Coalition.
Ghadyani also endured years of imprisonment before the 1979 Revolution as a consequences of his activism.