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11 Iranian Nationals Incarcerated in US Jails for Political Reasons

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, June 18 (ICANA) – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Iranian Expatriates' Affairs Hassan Qashqavi criticized the US for violating the rights of the Iranian nationals due to its feud with Tehran, saying that the US has jailed 11 Iranian nationals mostly on void and baseless charges.
Saturday, June 18, 2011 8:51:21 PM
11 Iranian Nationals Incarcerated in US Jails for Political Reasons

More than 60 Iranian nationals are being held in US prisons, 11 of them on political grounds and without any proof or evidence, Qashqavi said.

He pointed out that among the Iranian prisoners in the United States were Amir Hossein Ardebili, extradited to the US by Georgia, and Shahrzad Mir-Qolikhan, arrested under false charges.

A US District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, handed out a five-year term to Ardebili based on the prosecutor's claim that he had "secretly pleaded guilty" to arms smuggling and weapons export charges.

Shahrzad was arrested in the US in December 2007 after being forced to return to the United States from a vacation in Cyprus.

Her former husband, Mahmoud Seif, had allegedly tried to export night-vision goggles to Iran from Austria. However, she was detained and sentenced to five years in prison by a Florida federal court in the absence of her husband.

In his interview with the Islamic republic news agency, Qashqavi also referred to the case of former Iranian Ambassador to Jordan Nosratollah Tajik. He said that Tajik has been under house arrest in the UK over alleged involvement in certain nuclear deals in violation of US sanctions.

He went on to say that the US was pressuring the UK to extradite Tajik to Washington while presenting no evidence on his charges.

Regardless of judicial reasons, Mr. Tajaik must be released as soon as possible for human rights issues since he is in appalling health conditions, but the case has not been resolved yet, Qashqavi added.

According to Qashqavi, some 778 Iranian nationals have been released from prisons of 25 different countries over the past year and have been transferred to Iran.

The released nationals account for one third of the total number of Iranians held in custody in other countries, the Iranian official concluded.

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