Farhad Meysami contracted coronavirus

Reports from the prison indicate that Farhad Meysami, a physician and civil activist, is infected with coronavirus.

According to the Campaign for the Defense of Political and Civil Prisoners, Farhad Meysami, a physician and civil activist serving his conviction in Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj, has contracted the coronavirus.

On January 22, 2019, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Abolghasem Salavati, sentenced Farhad Meysami to 5 years in prison on charges of “assembly and collision to commit to crime against national security” and to 1 year in prison on charges of “propaganda activities against the state.” The court further ruled that Mr. Meysami had been banned from membership in political and social groups, activism in cyberspace, the media, the press, and leaving the country for two years.

The sentence was upheld by the Tehran Court of Appeals and on Saturday, August 10, 2019, Farhad Meysami was notified in Evin Prison.

Mr. Meysami’s appeal trial was held on Tuesday, 21, 2019, without his presence. In the ruling of the Court of Appeals, the 2-year deprivation of social rights has been commuted to 1 year, and the rest of the verdicts have been confirmed. This civil activist, who opposes the compulsory hijab (veiling), had previously written a letter explaining the reasons for his absence from the appeals court.

Earlier, Mr. Meysami and Mohammad Habibi, a teacher and cultural activist incarcerated in Evin Prison, wrote in an open letter to judicial authorities and the Prisons Organization that “they no longer sit in the prison census queues and read in the corners outside the queues with a book in hand” to show their protest to the prison authorities. Following the issue, Meysami was transferred from Evin Prison (in Tehran) to Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj on Saturday, November 9, 2019, and went on a hunger strike for more than two months.

Farhad Meysami, a physician and civil activist, was arrested at his residence on January 31, 2018, and went on a hunger strike the day after his arrest on August 1 (2018), in protest of his detention and charges against him. He spent 20 days in solitary confinement in Ward 209 and then was relocated to Ward 4 (general) of Evin Prison.

Three charges were brought against this civil activist in Branch 7 of the Evin Court. He was accused of “assembly and collusion with the intention of disrupting the security of country by inciting women to take the streets without hijab”, “propaganda against the regime” and “insulting hijab as one of the necessary sanctities of Islam.” But the referents for these three charges are unclear.

It is worth mentioning that the United States Department had previously condemned the detention of Farhad Meysami and demanded his immediate release.

“The United States condemns the arbitrary detention of Dr. Farhad Meysami. We are deeply concerned about his deteriorating health and call on the Iranian regime to release him immediately,” the ministry wrote in a Twitter message on Friday, December 7, 2018, about civil activist Farhad Meysami.

Farhad Meysami, 49, published textbooks for the university entrance exam in the 1990s and 2000s at Ayandeh Sazan (future makers) Publication, and in recent years has participated as a civil activist in many sit-ins and protest rallies in support of prisoners’ rights and against compulsory hijab (veiling).

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