As an academic and policy expert, Rahman Ghahremanpour regularly spoke to the media about Iran’s nuclear program. At the time of his arrest, the media speculated that authorities worried he would reveal sensitive information. He was released in 2014 after serving three years at Evin Prison, where he was harshly beaten and denied medical treatment.
Name: Rahman Ghahremanpour
Career: Journalist, director of the Disarmament Research Group at the Center for Strategic Research for the Expediency Council; editor-in-chief of the monthly Hamshahri Diplomatic.
Charges: Spying and revealing confidential information to foreign entities.
Rahman Ghahremanpour holds a BA in physics from Orumiyeh University and an MA and Ph.D in political science from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. He was 25 when he joined the research arm of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team in 2001. Five years into his career, he was appointed the director of the Disarmament Research Group at the Center for Strategic Research for the Expediency Discernment Council, which has supervisory power over all branches of government and reports solely to the Supreme Leader.
Ghahremanpour regularly spoke to the media about Iran’s nuclear program and was arrested on June 1, 2011 after he wrote a series of articles criticizing nuclear policy under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. At the time of his arrest, he was the editor-in-chief of the monthly Hamshahri Diplomatic and managing editor of the Tehran-e Emrouz newspaper.
Intelligence Ministry agents took him to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, where he spent 380 days in solitary confinement before being transferred to Ward 350, known for housing political prisoners. During this time, he was regularly beaten and so suffered from arthritis in his back; his eyesight also deteriorated. After his arrest, some media speculated that authorities were worried he would disclose sensitive nuclear information.
In 2013, he was granted a medical furlough. This was later retracted after prison officials discovered he had written a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, claiming that his charges had been fabricated and that he had been tortured. It was only after a thousand days in detention that he was permitted out for medical treatment.
He was tried at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Salavati, who sentenced him to three years in prison on charges of spying and revealing secrets about Iranian domestic affairs in an interview with a Turkish reporter.
On April 17, 2014, agents dressed in civilian clothing raided Ward 350 of Evin Prison and savagely beat prisoners. Ghahremanpour was among 29 political prisoners who wrote a letter to President Rouhani, providing details about their ordeal.
During his two years at Ward 350, Ghahremanpour regularly spoke to other prisoners about Middle Eastern affairs, the Arab Spring, democracy, Iranian foreign policy and presidential elections in the United States and Iran. He also wrote and translated five books during that time. He was freed on June 20, 2014, having served a three-year sentence.
For more information, visit Journalism is Not a Crime, documenting cases of jailed journalists in Iran.
This is part of IranWire’s series Crime: Journalism, a portfolio on the legal and political persecution of Iranian journalists and bloggers, published in both Persian and English.
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