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Kazem in court session a few weeks back. The mountaineer has since been released. (Photo/Fars News Agency).




Image of Kazem (left) hanging out with fellow climbers on K2 in 2007. Kazem has now been jailed in Iran.
Leila Esfandyari and her 2008 Nanga Parbat climbing team outside a Chinese restaurant in Islamabad.
Image by Karrar Haidri/ExplorersWeb in Pakistan courtesy Karrar Haidri, SOURCE

K2 summiteer Kazem Faridian jailed in Iran

Posted: Aug 13, 2009 02:47 am EDT
(K2Climb.net) He summited K2 in 2007. Last year time came for Nanga Parbat, in the first Iranian expedition led by a woman and also the first to have a corporate sponsor.

This season, Kazem Faridian is not joining fellow mountaineers in Pakistan. He is held in Iran's most notorious jail, Evin prison, section 7, friends and Iranian news agencies report.

Arrested on June 25

Following the Presidential Election this summer, protesters (mostly young) swarmed major city streets in Iran and sent tweets to western media about their opposition; at least 30 people were killed in the unrest and thousands were arrested. Most were released within the week, except for 300 detainees - including Kazem.

Kazem Faridian (Frydyan) was reportedly arrested on 25 June, according to local media while filming the street demonstrations, and has been held up in Evin prison since. According to Iranian sources close to ExplorersWeb Kazem didn't do anything during the protests; at this point it seems he is held for the only reason that he is a nationally famous mountaineer.

45 days of silence

In fear of reprisal, the local mountain clubs have not published anything about the situation which upsets Kazem's relatives and friends, now seriously worried about the 45 days of silence since his arrest. According to reports, some of those still in the prison are seriously abused.

"As a member of the mountaineering family, it is the duty of Iranian and international climbers and their organizations to call for his freedom, using all their power and facilities and pressure the shoulders of everyone to help reunite Kazem Frydyan with his family," states an email appeal for Kazem to ExplorersWeb.

With a final note: "Please help him."

Tehran's Evin prison is its most notorious jail. According to a report by the Guardian, some 150 political prisoners remain inside since a recent mass release, many said to be under severe pressure to sign confessions admitting involvement in a foreign-backed plot to topple the regime.

The Guardian reported last week that Evin inmates recently released claimed they had been beaten, abused and held in overcrowded conditions. Several deaths following torture are suspected. (Check the Guardian Evin news report in the links section).


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