Monday, February 20, 2012

Dokouhaki's mother: the highest judicial office in the land says it's not responsible for my daughter's case

Judicial authorities have told Parastoo Dokouhaki's mother that the Judiciary is not responsible for her daughter's case. According to the reformist website Kaleme, which has conducted an exclusive interview with Parastoo's mother, people at the office of the Head of the Judiciary, the highest judicial authority in Iran, have claimed that that office is not responsible for 'security' cases.

Below comes the interview, translated from its original in Persian.

It's more than a month since Parastoo was arrested. Have you been informed as to why?
No. Every day since the day following the night she was taken, I've been to the prosecution office at Evin prison; all to no avail. No one from the judiciary has ever said why my daughter was arrested. All they say is that Parastoo has to explain a few things and is there to answer some questions. Yet I'm fully aware of Parastoo's activities. In the past two years, after his father's illness, she had quit her work as a journalist. She only worked part-time with Dr. Shariati Foundation.

Have you tried any other judicial office other than the one at Evin?
Yes. I tried the office of the Tehran Prosecutor but eventually his deputy told me people at Evin were responsible to deal with the case. They weren't responsive though. So I decided to go to the highest judicial office in the land, Head of the Judiciary. I wrote a brief note and expressed my concerns for my daughter. I had to wait for many hours by the PR office of the Head of the Judiciary, only to be told that I have to go back to Evin. They didn't even accept my letter.

They said the Head of the Judiciary is not responsible for security/political cases, and that only the office of the Tehran Prosecutor can deal with them.

What was it that you wanted from the Head of the Judiciary?
I had reminded him in my letter that my daughter has been in a solitary cell for more than a month; that I've been assured again and again that interrogation has been over and things would change; yet days have passed and she's in the very same uncertain position.

It was reported that some officials had told you of Parastoo's immediate release?
That's right. In the visit that I had with her, Parastoo quoted the official in charge of her case that her interrogation was over and she was about to be released. Ten days has passed since then and no news of her release.

Have you followed this, their promise?
Indeed. Contrary to what they'd said to my daughter, they told me the interrogation was still going on, and Parastoo were yet to answer to questions.

Did they tell you about the charges and the questions she has to answer?
No, nothing.

Is it true that Parastoo is on medication? Did you discuss this with the authorities?
Yes. Parastoo wasn't in a very good state psychologically after her father passed away. She was given medication by her doctor. I've repeatedly pointed to this in my letters, but no one pays any attention.

How was she in when you met her in Prison?
I could tell that solitary confinement had weakened her.

And your last word with the authorities?
To release my daughter. I want them to note this that after my husband's death, Parastoo and I were all both of us were left with. Since her arrest more than a month ago, life has become a real misery.

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