Maryam Naghash Zargaran Returned to Evin Prison

Posted on: 13th July, 2016
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Maryam Naghash Zargaran

HRANA News Agency – Maryam Naghash Zargaran (also known as Nasim), an imprisoned Christian convert, who had been released on medical leave, went back to Evin prison midway through her treatment as attorney general refused to extend her furlough and threatened to confiscate the bail collateral.

Maryam was granted medical leave on June 6, marking her 11th day of hunger strike. She was forced to interrupt her treatment and head back to Evin prison right after attorney general refused to extend her leave and threatened to confiscate the bail collateral of 3,500,000,000 IRR.

She embarked on hunger strike to protest against withholding medical treatment, mishandling her case, refusing medical leave and conditional leave. Finally she was allowed to leave the prison and receive medical treatment on her 11th day of hunger strike.

“Although Maryam’s demands were not fully met, she broke her hunger strike after the leave as her family and friends urged her to do so. She has also threatened to resume her open-ended hunger strike if her demands were not to be fulfilled in the prison three days after Eid al-Fitr.” A source close to her family told Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)

According to HRANA’s report on May, 29th, Maryam was transferred to Shohada hospital on her 4th day of hunger strike; however, she was reportedly returned to the prison unconscious, without any medical treatment.

As a sign of protest, she refused to participate in family visits in the prison on the same day. To show their support for Maryam, her fellow prisoners did the same as a form of protest. It’s said that eventually all these actions paved the way for her transfer to hospital.

Maryam Zargaran suffers from a heart condition known as ASD for which she went under a heart surgery nine years ago. She is now in dire need of intensive medical care; in addition, she has developed further ailments over the last year including numbness in her limbs, chronic joint and spinal cord pain. She was diagnosed with lumbar disc, arthritis and osteoporosis by doctor months later. Although the prison doctor advised that she had to be hospitalized for five days and receive immediate physiotherapy, attorney general refused to grant permission for her hospitalization. She’s been also struggling with anemia, diabetes and high cholesterol during her incarceration but has been denied medical care.

The office of Iran’s ministry of intelligence initially summoned Maryam Naghash and interrogated her in 2010. The interrogations held in unknown places involved questions over house churches, followed by persecution and threats against her family members.

Eventually she was summoned and arrested by the security police couple of days later after Saeed Abedini’s arrest; an Iranian-American pastor who had returned to the country to set up an orphanage in north of Iran. Security forces searched her father’s home and confiscated her religious books, notes and personal belongings on the same day.

She was transferred to Evin prison following her arrest and sent to Vozara detention center afterwards with no explanation of her charge. She was detained there for five days under unhygienic condition and questioned about the quality of ceremonies held in the churches.

Maryam was eventually transferred to Evin prison and officially charged with “propaganda against the Islamic regime” by Branch 2 of Shahid Moghadas Court House. After 19 days of incarceration in women’s ward of prison, she was released on a bail collateral of 700 million IRR. She was also sentenced to 4 years imprisonment on charge of “gathering, collusion and action against national security” by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh in branch 28 of Iran’s revolutionary court.

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