Vargha Taefi is a financial adviser living in Melbourne and describes himself and his wife as enjoying a good life - except for the pain arising from being unable to see his mother. Taefi explains:
My mother, who is innocent of any crime, has been held in Iranian prisons since May 14, 2008, because of her religion. She is a member of the Baha'i faith. She is serving a 20-year sentence, and this week marks the fifth year since her arrest.
A mother of three, she is an educational psychologist. She is also one of seven people - five men and two women - who served as the ad hoc leadership group for Iran's biggest non-Muslim religious minority, the Baha'i, numbering 300,000.
Her religious belief commits her to obey the law not to be involved in partisan political activity. In fact, as I witnessed it growing up, her life has been one of service to others. But instead of being publicly praised, she has become the target of vicious persecution by the Iranian authorities.
In May 2008, she and her colleagues, the oldest of whom is now 80, were arrested in co-ordinated dawn raids on their homes in Tehran.
For more than four months my mother was held in solitary confinement. In 2010, after 2½ years of detention, during which the seven were physically mistreated, they were charged with baseless accusations of espionage, insulting Islamic sanctities, crimes against national security, and "spreading corruption on earth". Any one of these charges can result in the death sentence in Iran.
During the time of their trial, they were denied access to their lawyer, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi. The prison authorities allowed only a few visits from their families. Then, after being subjected to a sham trial, the most shocking news was announced - each was sentenced to a 20-year prison term. There was international outrage but they are still locked up.
My mother is being held in Evin Prison. She was previously in Rajaei Shahr and Qarchak prisons until condemnation of the extremely harsh conditions by international media and governments led to her transfer.
During her captivity she has been confined to a 2x2-metre shared cell. There is hardly any light entering. There is no bed. She sleeps on the floor, even during the extremely cold winters which worsen her sciatica. Her colleague who shares the same cell, Mrs Mahvash Sabet, 60, recently suffered a broken hip owing to poor diet, low calcium and no sunshine.
On rare occasions, when these are permitted her, Taefi gets to have a two-minute telephone conversation with his mother.