Prisoners in the Great Tehran Penitentiary Facing Delay and Difficulties in Receiving Medical Care

The Great Tehran Penitentiary officials regularly delay the issuance of permits for medical treatment, putting prisoners’ health at risk. This report sheds light on the violation of prisoners’ health-related rights in this prison and the negative impacts on inmates’ health conditions.

An inmate, recently freed from this prison, explained to HRANA the lengthy process of requesting a permit for medical care: “to receive a permit for medical care, the prison infirmary physician has to deliver a request letter to the Judgement Enforcement Unit. If approved, this unit sends a request letter to Judicial Deputy and the latter to the assistant prosecutor. This process takes a long time resulting in the exacerbation of inmates’ health condition and subsequent denial of medical treatment.”

“In addition to the long process, sometimes the request letters were missing, which frequently happens during the correspondence among prison officials,” another inmate stated.

Asadollah Hadi, Davood Razavi, Shahriar Bayat and Zartosht Ahmadi Ragheb are among the inmates who suffered medical issues due to the prison officials’ delays and impediments.

According to reports obtained by HRANA, in recent days, political prisoner Asadollah Hadi was taken to the prison infirmary. Despite that, only after many twists and turns did the prison officials agree to dispatch him to a hospital outside the prison. Hadi has 60% physical disability and underwent heart surgeries during the last few years. Nonetheless, prison officials still delay medical treatments.

Another inmate, 20-year-old Amir-Hossein Ghena’atgar, who was arrested during the nationwide protests, is in poor health condition and has been denied medical care. In this regard, an informed source told HRANA, “he has been injured in eyes, neck, arm and chest by pellet guns. Despite having an infection from the pellets still in his body, he has been denied adequate medical care.”

In 2022, the Department of Statistics of Human Rights Activists in Iran registered 4,322 deprivation of medical care and 20 deaths due to illness.

According to Articles 102 and 113 of the Executive Regulations of the Iranian Prisons Organization, the prison infirmary is obliged to perform the medical examination of prisoners at least once a month, which in practice happens rarely. Also, in a case where medical treatment is not possible inside prison, with permission from the head of the prison and supervising judge, the inmate can be dispatched to a hospital as soon as possible. The rules unfortunately do not exempt emergency cases from the judge’s permission, causing unnecessary delays and jeopardizing the inmate’s lives.