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An update on Bijan Khajehpour

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A couple of weeks ago, I drew attention to the arrest of  respected business consultant Bijan Khajehpour as an example of the situation of hundreds of Iranians detained after the disputed presidential election on June 12. At the time, Bijan’s whereabouts, state of health and conditions, as well as any charges against him, were unknown.

We now know that Bijan is being held at Tehran’s Evin prison, where most political prisoners are detained. He was one of the defendants at the second mass trial of people accused of plotting a “velvet coup” to overthrow the regime. The second one-day trial focused on people with contacts with Western countries. Bijan’s company advises many European corporations on doing business in Iran. His client list is a who’s who of international energy, engineering and automotive companies. The German Foreign Minister has called publicly for his release.

Bijan is apparently in good health and receiving his diabetics medicines, but his glasses were taken away from him when he was imprisoned, and he is almost blind without them. He has thusbeen deprived of his sight as well as his freedom for the last seven weeks. He has grown a beard and lost weight. His home was raided while his family was out of the country. His office was searched in his presence the day after his arrest. Security authorities removed computers and files.

Bijan was photographed by the semi-official Fars news agency in court (centre in the picture). He was on the B-list of the trial that included French researcher Clotilde Reiss and British embassy local staffer Hossein Rassam.

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