Motaleb Ahmadian, Political Prisoner Ailing with 22 Years to Go

Posted on: October 29th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- A prisoner in his eighth year of a 30-year sentence is in urgent need of medical care.

Evin prisoner Motaleb Ahmadian, 31, suffers from orchitis [infection and inflammation of the testes]. The infection recently spread to his bladder, a close source revealed, adding that the diagnosis was confirmed during ultrasonography tests Ahmadian underwent while on transfer to Telaghani hospital. His illness requires treatments that would drain excess fluid from the infection sites; uncontrolled, an infection of this type could lead to cancer. He is currently on the prison doctor’s waiting list for a medical transfer to undergo surgery, which he must pay out of his own pocket at an estimated 20 million tomans [approximately $1,500 USD].

Ahmadian was convicted on multiple counts: Moharebeh [enmity against God] through membership in a Kurdish opposition group; illegal entry into the country while armed and supporting a military group; and aiding and abetting murder. The charges stem from armed clashes in Saghez in 2010 that resulted in the death of a policeman and a civilian.

In August 2018, Branch 1 of Kurdistan provincial criminal court sentenced Ahmadian to eight years in prison for “aiding and abetting murder” and ordered him to pay half of the murder victims’ “blood money” [a designated sum owed to the families of homicide victims]. He was given an additional year and fined 20 million tomans [approximately $1,500] USD] on assault charges. Initially ordered to serve his sentence in exile in the southern city of Minab, he was instead transferred from Sanandaj to Tehran’s Evin Prison for reasons that were not disclosed.

Ahmadian, a Baneh native, was originally arrested October 5, 2010, after which he spent 230 days in solitary confinement. On May 3, 201,6 he was transferred to Saghez Prison after another prisoner made statements linking him to a weapon that was found there. This charge held water for some time, despite the material implausibility of smuggling a weapon from Sanandaj, where Ahmadian was held, to Saghez, more than 120 miles away. He was eventually acquitted and transferred back to Sanandaj.

Further back, Ahmadian was fined 100,000 tomans [approximately $300 USD] and sentenced to a year in prison for illegal border crossings in 2008 and 2011.

Saghez, Sanandaj, and Baneh are located in the province of Kurdistan on Iran’s border with Iraq. It is home to Iran’s Kurdish minority.

The Price of Neglect: Prisoner Dies in Zahedan

Posted on: September 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Abdolnabi Saresi, 52, from Afghanistan, was confirmed dead Friday, September 28th after being denied medical care in Zahedan Prison, where he was being held in Section 4.

Saresi had been awaiting trial for two years on financial charges. A close source told HRANA that Saresi was denied medical attention despite his history of diabetes. Staff at the prison clinic urgently recommended a hospital transfer on Thursday, which authorities refused. Authorities have yet to visit the prison since his death.

Deaths due to inadequate medical care are a common occurrence in Iranian prisons. This year, at least five prisoners died of medical neglect in Zahedan Central Prison alone.

HRANA previously reported on numerous cases of prisoners deaths in Zahedan.

State of Mental Health Critical for Zahedan Political Prisoner Held Six Years Without Trial

Posted on: September 23rd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A hostage of judicial bureaucracy for six years and counting, political prisoner Meysam Chandani, 28, has recently experienced a serious psychological downturn, a close source told HRANA.

“He is suffering from severe psychological illness due to the pressures of incarceration, the living conditions inside, and his legal limbo,” the source said. “He makes noises throughout the day and night, behaves strangely, and has caused problems for his ward mates.”

Currently held in section 4 of Zahedan Prison in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, home to Iran’s Baloch minority, Chandani was arrested six years ago by the Ministry of Intelligence forces of Saravan county and charged with “acting against national security,” “Moharebeh (enmity against God) through armed activities,” and “membership in an opposition group.” Unable to post his 5 billion toman (approximately $1,250,000 USD) bail, he has been waiting on his sentencing–or any updates at all–ever since.

In the meantime, prison officials refuse to attend to his medical needs, which according to eyewitnesses reports are growing more serious by the day.

While prison management has no direct responsibility to nudge the judiciary about lagging case files, they have been slow to address the prison’s dearth of communication channels with the judiciary and its general lack of social aid workers, shortcomings which make the follow-up process too difficult for some prisoners to undertake themselves.

Overpopulation has become a prevailing issue at Zahedan prison, where officials routinely disregard or postpone consideration of prisoner requests for sentencing reduction via part-time sentence schedules, furlough, and conditional pardon.

HRANA has previously reported on general lack of medical treatment in Zahedan Central Prison, based on interviews with eyewitnesses. The prison also hosts many who suffer from legal limbo like Chandani. This is in direct contravention of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights–of which Iran is a signatory–which guarantees arrestees the right to a prompt trial and to be promptly informed of the extent and nature of any charges on which they are being detained.

Three More Deaths in Urmia Prison Attributed to Medical Neglect

Posted on: September 13th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Urmia central prisoners Gholamreza Tubaragh Ghaleh, Reza Malek Rezaie, and Sajjad Jamali Fard have died due to authorities’ refusal to arrange for appropriate medical treatment, joining a dismal trend of detainee deaths related to medical neglect.

Fard died on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 after his transfer to an outside hospital. Rezaie and Ghaleh passed away inside the prison.

Ghaleh was being held on alcohol-related charges; the charges of the other victims have yet to be confirmed.

Prisoner deaths related to detention-related disease and restrictions on hospital transfers have reached a total of five since March 2018, the beginning of the Iranian year. Moloud Vanousheh of Mahabad died of a long-neglected colon condition while being held on alcohol-related offenses. Ghorbanali Mir Esmaeili also died of unattended conditions while in Urmia’s psychiatric ward 2.

Prisoners at Urmia Central Prison continue to be exposed to the elevated health risks of a short-staffed prison clinic without a resident physician. On June 12, 2018, Bahaoldin and Davood Ghassemi, two brothers on Urmia’s death row, requested to be executed as soon as possible when prison authorities refused their transfer to an outside clinic for treatment. Both are suffering from foot infections secondary to spinal injuries which have been further exacerbated by the sanitary conditions of their quarters.

Suffering from Cancer: Arash Sadeghi’s Medical Report in Rajai Shahr Prison

Posted on: August 31st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Rajai Shahr prisoner Arash Sadeghi, who despite severe physical symptoms was repeatedly denied medical treatment, has been diagnosed with bone cancer, a source ​close to the matter ​told HRANA.

Sadeghi, a civil rights activist, received his diagnosis after finally being transferred to a hospital last week for medical testing on a tumor in his arm. Hospital officials confirmed the tumor to be malignant, identifying​ it as chondrosarcoma.

Hospital oncologists recommended Sadeghi be immediately admitted to the hospital for further exams, biopsies, and pre-op procedures, HRANA’s source revealed. The source added, “The tumor is located in his right arm under the clavicle and scapula. Doctors have stated that the removal of the tumor and subsequent examinations will determine whether or not further surgeries or [post-op preventive] chemotherapy will be necessary.”

Chondrosarcoma is the most prominent malignant bone cancer in youth, affecting an estimated 100 patients per year in Iran. In this type of cancer, malignant tumors are composed of cartilage-producing cells that may arise spontaneously or from pre-existing benign tumors, most commonly in the pelvic, hip, and shoulder regions. Its cause is still unknown.

Pain and swelling are the primary symptoms of this type of bone cancer in its advanced stages. Unresponsive to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, ​chondrosarcoma​ ​​is most often treated with surgical excision of the tumor and its marginal cells. Patient prognosis for this specific type of cancer has improved dramatically in recent years.

On July 21, HRANA reported on Sadeghi’s transfer to a hospital in Tehran under heavy security control. Upon his arrival, hospital officials refused to admit him, stating the doctor was not available to see him; he returned to the prison without receiving medical attention.

Subsequently, Amnesty International issued a statement demanding immediate action be taken to attend to the medical needs of Arash Sadeghi, as he had been diagnosed with a potentially malignant tumor in his elbow.

Arash Sadeghi was sentenced to 19 years’ imprisonment by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. In December 2016, Sadeghi staged a 72-day hunger strike to protest the continued imprisonment of his wife, Golrokh Iraee.

Zahedan Prisoner Osman Falazehi Denied Medical Care

Posted on: August 14th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A prisoner identified as Osman Falazehi, 60, who is detained in section 4 of Zahedan’s central prison, has reportedly been denied medical care for more than two months.

Mr Falazehi was reportedly arrested two months ago on charges related to the participation in a group clash with security forces that occurred two decades ago. He was severely beaten and tortured on arrest in a detention center operated by the security police. Despite the poor state of his health, he was transferred to Zahedan’s central prison where is being medical care.

Osman Falazehi was first held in a detention center operated by the Intelligence department. Twelve days ago he was sent to section 6 of Zahedan’s central prison and subsequently to section 4. Mr Falazehi has yet to receive a day in court.

According to a source close to Osman, the prisoner’s brother was arrested twenty years ago in Iranshahr on drug charges. The arrest led to clashes in which dozens of security officials were killed and the arrestee was able to flee. Mr Falazehi was reportedly not there on that day and he was able to prove his innocence after he went to the Intelligence offices.

Now, after twenty years, Osman Falazehi was arrested in connection to his alleged role in the clash, the source said. According to the source, Mr Falazehi’s brother is an influential man in the region and Mr Falazehi was reportedly arrested to place pressure on his brother, the source said.