From the Islamic Republic News Agency

Sarkuhi's brother rejects foreign media hype about his brother

tehran, feb. 6, irna -- ismail sarkuhi, brother of faraj sarkuhi, editor in chief of the magazine 'adineh' said here thursday that contrary to western media propaganda, his brother has never been detained or imprisoned since his return to iran from germany and turkmenistan on january 19.

ismail and faraj sarkuhi were detained five days ago while trying to slip out of the country illegally with the help of smugglers.

ismail's remarks belie claims of german media and officials that sarkuhi had been jailed in iran.

speaking to iranian and foreign reporters at laleh hotel in terhan, ismail revealed that his brother, faraj was always unhappy and worried about the way the german government and media were spreading rumors about him, despite his intention to leave the country.

referring to a recent request from the foreign ministry, made by the german ambassador to tehran, to meet faraj sarkuhi, ismail said that his brother voiced concern about such an ''unusual'' move by the german diplomat.

ismail sarkuhi also gave a full account of his brother's trip to germany and his return to iran, his situation in the country and his efforts to leave the country illegally, before asnwering the questions posed by iran-based foreign reporters. he said that iranian security officials grew suspecious of faraj after police and airport officials in germany did not announce his arrival in that country despite the fact that his passport bore german entry stamp.

ismail said that his brother had been in contact with a person named mehdi same', one of the ringleaders of counterrevolutionary grouplets, during his trips to europe.

he said that faraj's contacts with german and french embassies in tehran strengthened iranian officials' suspecion that he (faraj) was engaged in political activities under cover of cultural work.

on a 14 page letter, written by faraj sarkuhi to his wife (farideh zebarjad), which recently made headlines in western media espscially in germany, ismail said his brother, knowing that he was under suspecion, sent the letter in a bid to attract support of germany.

ismail rejected the letter as a scenario written by his brother whom he described as a suspecious man suffering from illusion. ismail sarkuhi admitted that it was him who had faxed the letter to faraj's wife.

he said that because his brother has had extra-marital relations with a female journalist in iran for five years and because he wanted to marry her, ''i thought faraj's letter was a private one concerning this issue and so i faxed it without any knowlege of its contents.''

commenting on how he and his brother tried to get out of the country, ismail sarkuhi said ''i came to tehran from shiraz on january 26 upon frequent requests of my brother. on january 27, i along with faraj left tehran for isfahan. in salafchegan, we changed our direction and went to arak in a pick up truck and then to ahvaz in a car.

''a friend of mine in ahvaz, named gholam saqeb introduced us to two smugglers, ali kabani and gholamali tir-khorshid who were residing in bushehr.''

ismail said that the two smugglers came to ahvaz on janurary 31 and took him and his brother to bushehr.

''on the same day'', he added, ''we went to chaqadak district, on the outskirts of bushehr and spent the night there. late next night (february 1) we along with the smugglers were detained and taken back to tehran before managing to leave the country.''

ismail sarkuhi, saying that he is now free and is going to return to his hometown, requested the leader of the islamic revolution, ayatollah ali khamenei to pardon his brother.


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