More than 80 days after his arrest, Mehran Raouf, a British-Iranian labor activist, remains in solitary confinement in Evin Prison.
The 64-year-old was detained by security forces in Tehran on October 16, 2020. His home was ransacked and his personal belongings were confiscated by security forces.
Six months later, Raouf is still being held on Ward 2A of Evin Prison, which is run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The reasons for his arrest and the charges against him remain unknown.
A source close to Raouf, told HRANA news agency that the unionist is now suffering from physical ill-health due to the long interrogations and protracted time in a solitary cell.
The Committee to Support Mehran Raouf, which was set up by a number of international labor movements following his arrest, issued a fresh statement on April 9 expressing concern over his continued detention.
“Despite widespread support for Mehran Raouf from than 90 syndicates and trade unions around the world,” it read, “and the signing of a petition calling for Mehran Raouf's release by hundreds of social activists, the British government has not yet taken action to support him.”
IranWire approached the UK Foreign Office regarding Raouf’s case on February 8, 2021. Nine days later, the FCO responded: “We continue to raise the issue of British dual national detentions with the Iranian authorities”.
It is understood that no consular assistance has yet been provided to the British-Iranian national, whose immediate family all live outside Iran.
On March 16, 2021 calling for the unconditional release of the Iranian-British labor activist, saying: "Mehran Raouf is being held 'arbitrarily' in Evin Prison in Tehran. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally."
Amnesty International has also repeatedly called on the British government to include Mehran Raouf in its efforts to secure the release of Iranian-British nationals in Iran, alongside Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
The charity reports that Raouf was held incommunicado for a month after his arrest, after which he was allowed to make one brief telephone call to distant relative inside Iran.
Since then, Amnesty added, he had been “denied calls with his immediate family and the right to access legal counsel, even from the judiciary-approved lawyers that his family have retained on his behalf.
“He has been held in prolonged solitary confinement for months. Amnesty International fears that he is at serious risk of further torture and other human rights violations, especially given the Revolutionary Guards’ pattern of subjecting detainees to torture to extract forced ‘confessions’ which are later used to issue convictions in unfair trials.”