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Student Arrested by Intelligence Ministry Held in Solitary Confinement Without Charge

CHRI - Payam Shakiba, a political science graduate student at Tehran's Allameh Tabataba'i University, has been held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison's Ward 209 since his arrest by the Intelligence Ministry in late February 2017, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

Shakiba, 30, has not had access to a lawyer and no reasons have been provided by the authorities for his arrest, said the source, adding that he has been allowed to contact his family once to inform them of his health.

"One of the staff at the prosecutor's office said that the charges are related to political and security issues, but did not provide further explanation," the source told CHRI. "So we won't know what the charges are for sure until a lawyer can examine his case."

Detainees must be informed of the charges and given access to a lawyer "as soon as possible," according to Article 5 of Iran's Criminal Procedure Regulations.

On July 8, 2008, Shakiba was arrested along with four other students for exposing one of the deputy chancellors of Zanjan University for trying to take sexual advantage of a female student.

The Revolutionary Court in Zanjan sentenced Shakiba in March 2010 to a year in prison and a two-year suspension from university for "causing public anxiety" and "instigating illegal gatherings against national security." The Appeals Court reduced his sentence to six months in prison, which he served from November 2010 to March 2011.

Since then, he has been conducting research on political matters and concentrating on getting his graduate degree, according to CHRI's source.

"Payam suffers from migraine headaches and always carried his medications with him," added the source. "But his family have not been able to deliver his pills through the prosecutor or the prison authorities."