Shahrzad Mir-Qolikhan, an ‘innocent’ Iranian woman jailed in the US, will celebrate her 33rd birthday behind bars after a three-year ‘ordeal’ in US detention.
Born on December 6, 1956, Mir-Qolikhan has spent her past two birthdays behind bars; with only the brief phone calls she is permitted to make to her family — twin daughters and their grandparents — in Iran to look forward to.
She was arrested in the US in December 2007, after being forced to return to the States from a vacation in Cyprus.
Her ex-husband, Mahmoud Seif, had allegedly tried to export night-vision goggles to Iran from Austria. She was sentenced to five years in prison by a Florida federal court in his absence.
Tehran has repeatedly slammed the case as an example of human rights violation in the United States, demanding the release of the 33-year-old mother of two.
Mir-Qolikhan’s mother told Press TV that US authorities allow the family to talk to Shahrzad on the phone only for 5 hours a month — that is one hour and 25 minutes a week.
This is while according to Florida Department of Corrections, “a visiting schedule shall be implemented to ensure a minimum of two hours a week for inmates to receive visits.”
In early November, Shahrzad told Press TV via telephone from inside the prison that she is being kept under horrible conditions and is subject to both physical and mental torture.
“I was taken to a Federal Prison Camp in Miami after my arrest in December 2007,” she said, describing the Miami prison as a “horrible place.”
“I was mistreated horribly by all the correctional officers and more especially at the higher level, the lieutenants, captains and warden,” Shahrzad said.
“Then last Saturday out of the blue they came and put me in handcuffs and took me to the SHU (Special Housing Units) where the most horrible and dangerous of criminals are kept,” Shahrzad said.
“They put me in handcuffs, they took me to the prison and they started to torture me in every possible way, especially mentally. They horribly tortured [me] mentally, to become a spy and work for them and turn in my ex-husband,” she said.