Farhad Meysamy, a teacher, doctor and civil rights activist, has been prevented from making phone calls to loved ones outside Rajaei Shahr Prison. A source told IranWire that Meysamy’s phone card has been blocked “until further notice” since the afternoon Saturday, December 11.
Before abandoning his company to pursue nonviolent activism, Meysamy was best known as the founder of Andisheh-Sazan, a publishing house known for its educational textbooks. He was arrested in July 2018 and sentenced by the Revolutionary Court’s Judge Salavati to six years in prison for “propaganda against the regime”. Now serving his fourth, he has yet to take a single day off.
The case against Meysamy was built by the Ministry of Intelligence. He refused to attend the early interrogation sessions to protect his friends and associates, and in protest against the baseless charges. He also went on hunger strike in Evin Prison in protest against his arrest of Reza Khandan in September 2018, going on to become seriously ill.
In October 2019, after Gholamreza Ziaei became the head of Evin Prison, Farhad Meysamy and Mohammad Habibi, a teachers’ trade unionist, wrote an open letter to policymakers in the judiciary and Prisons Organization to protest a litany of new issues: “The reduction of inmates' visits for political prisoners, the elimination of a special day for prisoners to visit their mothers, the ban on [inmates’] receiving books and publications, and the restriction of telephone calls".
The pair refused to join the morning counting queues and organized a civil protest in Evin Prison, joined by a number of others. This led to Meysami being “deported” from Evin to Rajaei Shahr Prison, otherwise known as Gohardasht, in Karaj. Since then he has refused to apply for parole or leave.