Nahid Taghavi, a 66-year-old German-Iranian national, has been arbitrarily detained in Tehran’s Evin prison since 16 October 2020. She has serious medical conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, placing her at heightened risk of severe illness or death if she contracts COVID-19. She is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released.
Head of Judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi
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c/o H.E. Majid Takht Ravanchi
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212 687-2020 I Fax: 212 867 7086
Email: [email protected]
Dear Mr Raisi,
I am writing to express concern at the continued arbitrary detention of Nahid Taghavi, a 66-year-old German-Iranian national, in Section 2A of Tehran’s Evin prison. Revolutionary Guards arrested her on 16 October 2020 from her home in Tehran and confiscated her personal belongings. The authorities did not inform her family of her arrest or whereabouts. When her relatives visited Evin prison searching for her on 18 October 2020, they discovered that she was being held there in solitary confinement. Following her arrest, she was denied contact with the outside world until 28 October 2020, when she was permitted a brief telephone call with her family. She was then denied contact with them for a further 35 days until December 2020, after which she has been allowed a call with them every 7-10 days. The prosecution authorities have denied her access to a lawyer; they have also said that she is not permitted a lawyer of her own choosing and is only allowed one from a list vetted and approved by the Head of the Judiciary. They have also refused to give any precise information to her family about the charges on which she has been detained, only citing “security” (amniyati) reasons.
Nahid Taghavi is a resident of Germany but spends several months a year visiting family in Iran and had never previously been detained. During interrogations in detention, she has been asked about her personal history, including her activism when she was a student, and the reasons she travels to Iran. She has high blood pressure for which she needs daily medication and suffers from back problems. Evin prison authorities initially refused to accept her blood pressure medication when her family tried to deliver it. In detention, she has begun to suffer from and take medication for diabetes, a condition she had previously been able to reverse through healthy eating and exercise. She was also scheduled to have dental surgery when she was arrested for a condition which causes her pain. Despite this, the authorities have refused to transfer her to a specialist dental facility.
I ask you to immediately and unconditionally release Nahid Taghavi as she is a prisoner of conscience detained solely in connection with her peacefully exercising her rights to freedom of expression and association. Pending her release, give her regular access to a lawyer of her choosing and family, as well as to any health care she needs.