Former Tehran mayor shares prison cell with 200 inmates:
TEHRAN, May 12 (AFP) - Former Tehran mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi,
jailed last week for corruption, is sharing a prison cell with some 200
inmates, an Iranian newspaper reported Wednesday.
"Karbaschi is kept in a big prison cell in Evin prison (in northern
Tehran) with some 200 inmates whose inability to pay back debts to their
creditors brought them to prison," the government paper Iran said.
"The former mayor spends time with his fellow inmates everyday
seeking a solution to their financial problems," it said, adding
that "two inmates had already been released in the past few days
thanks to Karbaschi's help."
The conservative Tehran Times newspaper had mocked on Tuesday the allegedly
comfortable conditions of the former mayor in Evin prison, in an article
under the headline "Karbaschi Feeling at Home in Jail."
"According to an informed source ... Karbaschi has been allowed
to make phone calls to his family members everyday. He does not eat prison
food, he places orders for his food from outside restaurants," the
The moderate former mayor began serving a two-year jail term last Thursday
following his conviction on corruption charges.
The ex-mayor's spectacular trial was widely seen among reformers and
moderates as a politically motivated attack by the regime's conservatives
and hardliners aimed at paralyzing Khatami's reform agenda.
A number of leading members of the reformist camp have sprung to the
defense of the imprisoned former mayor, pointing to his contributions
to the Islamic Revolution and his many achievements running the capital.
An appeal by 146 out of the 270 members of parliament to Iranian supreme
leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asking him to pardon Karbaschi was turned