Authorities deny familial visit between cancer-afflicted prisoner of conscience and his detained wife

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Arash Sadeghi and Golrokh Iraee, a husband-wife pair of civil rights activists currently serving time in separate prisons, have been denied the right to see each other despite Sadeghi’s recent diagnosis of chondrosarcoma.

Separated by about 30 miles–Sadeghi held in Rajai Shahr in Karaj, and Iraee in the women’s ward of Evin prison in Tehran–have been permitted one visit, in June 2018, arranged in the interest of persuading Iraee to end her hunger strike.

An informed source told HRANA that in the wake of Sadeghi’s recent diagnosis, “Mr. Rostami, the assistant prosecutor in charge of Evin political prisoners, consented to the couple’s visit. [Rajai Shahr Prison Director] Gholamreza Ziaei, however, has opposed Sadeghi’s transfer to Evin for such visit. He cited Sadeghi’s activism in prison as the reason for his objection.”

Sadeghi’s recent diagnosis of chondrosarcoma, a malignant bone and joint cancer, has only heightened his loved ones’ anxiety over an already-shaky prognosis: in addition to bone cancer, Sadeghi suffers from asthma, acute ulcerative colitis, arrhythmia, dilated cardiomyopathy, kidney shrinkage, severe wounds in his large and small intestine, and IBS. His regime of 20 daily medications includes mesalazine, sulfasalazine, warfarin, clopidogrel, propranolol, pantoprazole, suprastine, domperidone, and bismuth subcirate. He went on a 72-day hunger strike in October 2016 to protest his wife’s arrest and incarceration over a story she had written in a private journal, and has yet to fully recover from the physical fallout of long-term starvation.

Sadeghi is serving a 19-year prison sentence imposed by the Revolutionary Court, while Iraee began serving her six-year sentence on October 24th, 2016. Since the recent Iranian New Year, or “Nowruz” celebration in March, her sentence was reduced to two and a half years.

On the orders of Evin Prison Director Chaharmahali, Sadeghi was previously transferred from Evin Prison to Rajai Shahr as a punitive measure. Iranian law has provisions allowing for monthly inter-prison visits between kin who are detained within the jurisdictions of Tehran and Alborz Province.

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