Iran Pleads with US to Release Jailed Mother of Two

November 2nd, 2010 - by admin

PressTV – 2010-11-02 00:58:39

‘US Brutally Tortures Iranian Woman’

TEHRAN (November 1, 2010) — Shahrzad Mir-Qolikhan was arrested in the US in December 2007. Her ex-husband, Mahmoud Seif, had allegedly tried to export night-vision goggles to Iran from Austria. She was sentenced to five years in prison by a Florida federal court in his absence.

Mir-Qolikhan told Press TV via telephone from inside prison on Monday that she was duped into visiting the US by American authorities, who then tried to “make her a spy” and use her to find the whereabouts of her ex-husband.

She said her conditions had grown much worse after Iran released American national Sarah Shourd, who is charged with illegally entering Iran and espionage, on bail. “I was taken to a Federal Prison Camp in Miami after my arrest in December 2007,” Mir-Qolikhan said, describing the Miami prison as a “horrible place.”

“I was mistreated horribly by all the correctional officers and more especially at the higher level, the lieutenants, captains and warden,” she said. “After I was sentenced, a few months later, they transferred me to a Federal correction institution in Danbury,” where conditions were a little bit better, she added.

Mir-Qolikhan also said that US media censorship regarding her case heightened after the release of Shourd. “Then last Saturday out of the blue they came and put me in handcuffs and took me to the SHU (Special Housing Units) where the most horrible and dangerous of criminals are kept,” Mir-Qolikhan said.

She said US authorities had kept her at the SHU for six days in a bid to have easy access to her legal paperwork. “They put me in handcuffs, they took me to the prison and they started to torture me in every possible way, especially mentally. They horribly tortured [me] mentally, to become a spy and work for them and turn in my ex-husband,” Mir-Qolikhan, who is a mother of two daughters, told Press TV.

She said she wrote “lots of letters” to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during her imprisonment asking him to file a suit against the US government at the International Court of Justice. Also on Monday, her mother, Belghis Rovshan called on US President Barack Obama to release her.

“It’s difficult not to see your child for three years, especially for something which is not her fault… she has a very difficult time there,” Rovshan told Press TV. “I want to ask Mr. Obama to release my daughter immediately… I want him to think about her two little daughters and their feelings,” she said.

Rovshan said her daughter is being kept in improper conditions and lacks clean water and food. Mir-Qolikhan earlier told Press TV in an exclusive interview that she has been tortured in prison.

The US has detained several Iranian nationals on charges of violating the US-imposed sanctions against Iran. Washington has called on Tehran to release three of it nationals charged with illegally entering the country and espionage.

Sarah Shourd, one of the three US nationals, was released on bail of USD 500,000 in September, 14 months after her arrest. Iran said the decision was made on humanitarian grounds.

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