Nahid Taghavi and Narges Adib Facing Medical Negligence in Evin Prison

Posted on: July 27th, 2021

Nahid Taghavi and Narges Adib are currently facing medical negligence from authorities in Evin Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Iranian-German dual citizen Nahid Taghavi has been denied medical treatment in Evin Prison despite suffering from COVID-19.

Ms. Taghavi was previously transferred to quarantine along with several prisoners with symptoms after receiving a positive COVID test. Despite the widespread prevalence of COVID-19 among inmates in the women’s ward of Evin Prison, Ms. Taghavi has not been approved for for medical leave.

Political prisoner Narges Adib, who suffers from a number of health issues, is currently being held in the women’s ward of Evin Prison as she serves out her sentence.

Ms. Adib suffers from a variety of medical problems such as respiratory distress, bronchitis, asthma, and joint pain. She was sent to the hospital for an MRI weeks ago but has not yet received test results or medication.

Mohammad Nourizad Sent on Medical Leave from Evin Prison after 102 Day Hunger Strike

Posted on: July 9th, 2021

Yesterday, July 8, civil activist Mohammad Nourizad was sent on medical leave from Evin Prison on a bail of 800 million tomans following a 102 day hunger strike.

Nourizad’s lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, confirmed the news on his social media, stating, “It is interesting [strange] that they did not consider one person’s sponsorship sufficient, so I and the client’s brother took care of the bail. Mr. Nourizad has to start treatment on Saturday.”

Previously Aghasi had told HRANA, “My client has lost 55 pounds following a 102-day hunger strike and a 105-day medicine strike and is experiencing severe hearing loss; he has been wounding himself every day as a sign of objection; he has fainted 37 times.”

Mohammad Nourizad suffers from myriad underlying diseases such as asthma, heart problems, and high blood pressure.

Prisoner Dies in Ferdows Prison After Prison Authorities Delay his Transfer to the Hospital

Posted on: June 28th, 2021

On Sunday,  June 20, Hossein Pahendi Pour died in Ferdows Prison in South Khorasan Province after prison authorities delayed his transfer to the hospital.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting RASANK news, Hossein Pahendi Pour’s car flipped in April of this year during a chase by law enforcement officers. In the crash he seriously injured his back and lungs, but rather than being first given time to heal in the hospital, he was arrested and taken to prison the following day.

The detainee’s condition had been deteriorating day by day, and by the end he was unable to move without the help of other prisoners. Despite the clear urgency of his condition, prison officials denied Mr. Pahendi Pour transfer to a medical center.

Pahendi Pour was eventually taken to a medical center and then to the hospital’s ICU. By this time, however, it was too late and he lost his life.

Civil Activist Saeed Eghbali’s Hearing Permanently Damaged Amid Ongoing Medical Negligence in Rajai Shahr Prison

Posted on: June 25th, 2021

On June 19, civil activist Saeed Eghbali was sent to visit a doctor in Amir Alam Hospital after months of deprivation of medical care in Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the specialist doctor stated that due to lack of timely medical attention and the severity of the infection, Eghbali will permanently lose 70% of his hearing. If the medication does not control the infection by next month, surgery will be needed to prevent it from spreading.

Mr. Eghbali was arrested at the beginning of a ten-day annual celebration for the Islamic Revolution’s Victory in 2018.

Eghbali has been enduring a 5-year sentence in prison since June 2020. Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh sentenced Mr. Eghbali to 5 years in prison on the charges of “conspiracy to act against the security of the country” and to 1 year in prison on a charge of “propaganda activities against the regime”.

This sentence was upheld by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals. Using Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, 5 years imprisonment is enforceable to him on a charge of “Conspiracy to act against the security of the country”.

Saeed Eghbali wrote an open letter from Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj in May of this year. Below is an excerpt from the letter:

I was told,  “We arrested you on this date to let you know that you are too small to act against the regime”. All the harassment that the security system inflicted on me was because I had protested; I used my rights as a citizen to make changes to the condition of my country. When I realized what was going on, I decided to protest the system that knows no rights for its people. I was and am from a social class that has been oppressed and denied for decades.

Sydney Pen Association Demands Immediate Release of Reza Khandan Mahabadi, Baktash Abtin and Keyvan Bazhan from Evin Prison

Posted on: June 22nd, 2021

On Sunday, June 20, the Sydney Pen Association in Australia issued a statement in light of Ebrahim Ra’isi’s election as next President of the Islamic Republic.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Writers’ Association of Iran, the statement calls for the immediate release of Reza Khandan Mahabadi, Baktash Abtin and Keyvan Bazhan, currently being held in Evin prison for their writings critical of the State. All three authors are members of the Writers’ Association of Iran, and each has published several books on Iranian history, sociology, and literature.

“The three authors need medical attention and authorities have not taken any of them to hospital,” the statement says.

In April, Baktash Abtin’s lawyer announced that his client had contracted COVID but had not received the necessary treatment. Reza Khandan Mahabadi suffers from osteoarthritis of the neck and Keyvan Bazhan has a thyroid disease. Penn Sydney was recently informed by inmates that another wave of coronavirus has spread to Evin Prison, further endangering the lives of its inmates.

The writers were first sentenced to imprisonment when now-president-elect Ebrahim Ra’isi was head of the judiciary on charges of propaganda against the Islamic Republic and acting against national security. They were also accused of attending the graves of disgruntled poets and writers and critics of the regime.

The prosecution cited the publication of a book on the history of the Writers’ Association of Iran, an institution that has criticized Iran’s past and present governments for decades, and the defendants were sentenced to a total of 18 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran.

In January 2019, an appeals court in Tehran reduced the sentence to a total of 15 years and six months in prison. Baktash Abtin and Reza Khandan Mahabadi were sentenced to six years in prison each, and Keyvan Bazhan was sentenced to three years and six months.

Abtin, Khandan Mahabadi and Bazhan were arrested on October 26 of last year, after attending the Judgment Enforcement Unit of the Evin Court, and  were transferred to the infamous Evin Prison to serve out their sentences.

The statement cites a joint text by Reza Khandan Mahabadi, Baktash Abtin and Keyvan Bajan, which was issued from inside the prison on June 6, 2021.

Below is an excerpt from their text:

 

We are addressing all writers and libertarians who have made “freedom of expression everywhere and for all” the focus of their human endeavors. This is the demand that the historical-global movement for freedom of expression has practically and always pursued. The Writers’ Association of Iran, of which we are three members, has been active as part of this movement for more than half a century; A movement that must be enhanced by its power and volume; Because apart from the daily threat of freedom of expression by the ruling powers, many people in the world are completely deprived of it; Including writers and people of Iran. We are currently in prison, and according to the sentence, we have to endure a total of 13 and a half years in prison because we are writers who oppose censorship and demand freedom of expression without exception. We are not the first prisoners and oppressed of this movement and we will not be the last until “freedom of expression everywhere and for everyone” is achieved.

 

Reza Khandan Mahabadi, Baktash Abtin, Keyvan Bazhan

 

Bektash Abtin concluded in his story to Sydney Pen Association president Mark Isaac,  “Freedom is never given to anyone on a gold tray; it comes at a high price. In a country like Iran, death very easily finds intellectuals, libertarians and those who fight for freedom of expression. We are not worried about the trial and the prison and its difficulties, because we have made our decision.”

Political Prisoner Hossein Sepanta Facing Ongoing Medical Negligence in Adelabad Prison

Posted on: June 16th, 2021

Political prisoner Hossein Sepanta, who is suffering from a chronic and rapidly-advancing spinal disorder, has been facing ongoing medical negligence from authorities in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Sepanta is currently in his eighth year in Adelabad prison. Amnesty International reported that Sepanta had previously been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of collaborating with an opposition party.

According to an informed source, despite his deteriorating condition, his request for parole has been rejected eight separate times.

Sepanta had a stroke in March last year and was taken to hospital for two weeks. He has lost a significant amount of weight, has lost the ability to walk and is unable to do daily chores and personal affairs. He also takes strong painkillers provided at the expense of his family.

Amnesty International called for immediate action on Sepanta’s condition last year, but the demands have been ignored by prison authorities thus far.

Political Prisoner Motaleb Ahmadian Denied Medical Care in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj

Posted on: June 16th, 2021

Political prisoner Motaleb Ahmadian, who is currently in his 11th year of imprisonment in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, has been denied medical care despite his serious physical and mental condition.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ahmadian has been suffering from orchitis during the past years and the infection has now been transmitted to his bladder.

According to a source close to the prisoner’s family, Ahmadian recently reported in a phone call that his physical and mental condition had deteriorated following a lack of medical attention. “Officials promised to take him to a hospital for treatment but as of yet they have not fulfilled their promise and the prisoner’s physical condition is getting worse by the day,” the source said.

Earlier, the infectious disease specialist and general practitioner doctor at Evin Prison Medical Center had repeatedly emphasized that Ahmadian must be visited by a surgeon and urologist and that chemotherapy, sonography, and related tests must be performed. The specialist further emphasized that Mr. Ahmadian needs an MRI every six months due to a spinal complication and should visit a neurologist to prevent the disease from progressing and treatment. This has not been achieved so far due to opposition from Amin Vaziri, the assistant prosecutor in charge of political prisoners.

37-year-old Motaleb Ahmadian was arrested in October 2010 and, after about 230 days in solitary confinement, he was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment in Minab Prison, far from his hometown of Baneh City in Kurdistan Province.

At his first lawsuit, Ahmadian was arrested on a charge of Moharebeh, a pillar of Sharia Law that is typically applied to those connected to acts of armed rebellion against the state. The term, which can be loosely translated as “waging war against God”, has been used to incriminate members of opposition groups that may have used violence to rebel against the Islamic Regime, even if they themselves have not been involved.

Three more cases were later opened against Ahmadian and he received more sentences, including fines and imprisonment.

 

Afkari Brothers Denied Medical Care Amidst Ongoing Torture in Adelabad Prison

Posted on: June 11th, 2021

Political prisoners Vahid and Habib Afkari have been denied medical care during their 9 month detention in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz. During this time, they have been repeatedly beaten and tortured by prison officials attempting to force confessions related to their role in the 2018 nationwide protests.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the brothers are being held in the Ebrat ward, also known as the “closed ward” of the prison.

The inmates and their family repeatedly requested to be transferred to a political prison, but despite the prosecutor’s promise, authorities have thwarted all efforts to make the move happen. Saeed Afkari has commented on the condition of his imprisoned brothers.

“According to medical jurisprudence, my brother Habib suffered a broken toe, a non-welded wrist fracture, and a torn shoulder during his detention,” Saeed said. “My other brother Vahid suffered neck and arm injuries as a result of a suicide attempt in protest of physical and mental torture. They have been in solitary confinement for 279 days and have not been allowed treatment.”

In mid-September 2020, the two political prisoners were transferred to the Ebrat ward (closed ward), a detention center for prisoners deprived of phone contact. After nearly nine months, they are still being held in this ward of Adelabad prison in Shiraz.

Based on prison regulations and laws, definitive convicts should only be held in public wards under the supervision of the Prisoners’ Organization. According to the same by-laws, keeping the accused in detention should be permitted only with a written order from the judicial authorities. Thus, keeping Habib and Vahid Afkari outside the public ward of the prison without a written order is against the law.

Navid Afkari, Vahid Afkari, and Habib Afkari were arrested in connection with the nationwide protests in 2018.

Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestler, was executed at Adelabad Prison in Shiraz in September 2020 despite serious ambiguities in the case and a worldwide wave of support for him. Vahid Afkari was sentenced to 54 years and 6 months in prison and 74 lashes, Habib Afkari to 27 years and 3 months in prison and 74 lashes.

 

 

Abbas Lesani Denied Medical Attention in Ardabil Prison

Posted on: June 11th, 2021

Azerbaijani Turk activist Abbas Lesani has been denied transfer to a hospital outside Ardabil prison, despite  numerous serious medical ailments.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Lesani suffers from high blood pressure, lumbar disc, and heart problems.

According to an informed source, Mr. Lesani had a dangerously-high blood pressure of 190 on June 9, and despite the doctors’ order to send him to the hospital, he remained ignored by prison authorities.

Lesani was previously sentenced by the Ardabil Revolutionary Court to eight years in prison and two years in exile. The sentence was increased to 15 years in prison and 2 years in exile on charges of “forming a group with the intention of disrupting the country’s security” by the Court of Appeals. Under Article 134, a maximum sentence of 10 years is enforceable.

In another case, Branch 26 of the East Azarbaijan Court of Appeals sentenced him to 10 months in prison on charges of “propaganda activities against the regime and in favor of opposition groups”.

Abbas Lesani has a history of arrests and numerous convictions for his activist work.

Political Prisoner Sasan Niknafs buried after Death in Greater Tehran Prison

Posted on: June 10th, 2021

The body of Sasan Niknafs, a political prisoner who died in Greater Tehran Prison on Monday, was buried.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Tehran Prisons Organization claims that the place of death was Firoozabadi Hospital in Tehran. However, an informed source stated that in reality, Niknafs’ body was taken to a hospital outside the prison after his death.

Sasan Niknafs was suffering from myriad mental and physical health problems, such as diabetes, fatty liver, gastritis, high blood pressure, and severe depression. By most definitions, Niknafs was unfit to serve time in prison, but his mother’s efforts to obtain a certificate of intolerance were unsuccessful until after his death. Moreover, despite the clear urgency of his condition, Prison officials significantly delayed sending Niknafs to a properly-equipped hospital outside the prison. He died on June 7.