When our father went to Iran for his first extended trip after the revolution, I wondered how long it would take him to finish his business, and come home. His family was facing hardship on their livelihood and personal belongings. I can only wonder what my brother and sister were feeling when they got the news that Karan and Afarin were in prison. The bureaucracy in Iran can be brutal from what I witnessed while I stayed with Karan and Afarin for the summer of 2009. When he took me to obtain paperwork for his business, it took my father a few hours to find the correct person to speak with. We feel that court process so far has been the same in a sense. Karan and Afarin were in “temporary confinement” since July 20th, 2016. We know for a fact that it was in solitary confinement for a period of one month. During the time in solitary confinement, twelve of the days were spent by the Sepah searching their house and offices in Tehran. During the stint in solitary, Afarin and Karan were questioned almost continually about being spies. This is wildly inaccurate set of charges brought upon them caused the family and us children a lot of unnecessary stress. What the IRGIS found and did not amount to anything which was outside of the statute of what a Zoroastrian or art gallery owner would be allowed to have within private premises. Since evidence for “espionage” were non-existent the interrogations were lacking, originally we were to believe that these charges were dropped. Soon to hear that they were brought up again by the presiding judge. Afterwards, Karan and Afarin were moved into a slightly larger cell which was 2 X 3.5 meters. The cell had 3 blankets on which to sleep, a communal bathroom, TV, a daily newspaper and two additional prisoners. Mind you, this is without going through the proper channels and statutes necessitated by law. What Karan’s three children, Aundia, Cyrus and myself want is the immediate release of Karan and Afarin as we know they are kind and nice, and are certain they are innocent and have committed no crime.
In case of any trial we ask for an open trial to the public with national and independent international lawyers to present them, with unbiased jury (including of women, artists and Zartoshti minority), and independent press and without pressures to influence the outcome.
If the trial comes to a head, and there is no other option, we will bring support from friends, family and numerous other supporters of civil liberties and the love for Karan and Afarin.
With Love from your son Maziar