Thursday, February 09, 2012

Family visits Dokouhaki surrounded by intelligence people

Twenty-four days after her arrest, the family of Iranian journalist, Parastoo Dokouhaki, were allowed to visit their daughter on Wednesday, but only in the presence of at least four security/judicial authorities.

In this belated, awkward, and certainly unusual session, both the examining and the interrogation officer were present alongside the guard and security people. Dokouhaki told her family that there were some "misunderstandings'', and that she was trying to clarify those. She didn't elaborate on what those "misunderstandings" were.

Since her arrest on 15 January, Dokouhaki has been under immense pressure to make false confessions, possibly video-recorded. She was in solitary confinement in the so-called ward AA, controlled by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, up until a few days ago. Since then, she says, she's been put in a double-cell with another inmate.

The Islamic Republic Judiciary is yet to give a reason for Dokouhaki's arrest. Ten days ago, a spokesman for the Judiciary said in his press conference that the Prosecutor would comment on Parastoo Dokouhaki, Marzieh Rasouli and Saham Bourghani, all arrested roughly at the same time.

This, needless to say, has not materialised, resulting in more confusion and increasing concern over the fate of these journalists.

The only relevant piece of information to come out to this date has been a report by the semi-official news agency, Mehr, which quoted "a security official" on its website (Tuesday 9 Feb.) that said "a number of BBC Persian colleagues in Iran" have been arrested and confessed.

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