Iran: Denying medical treatment to political prisoners

April 21, 2014

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A group of independent UN human rights experts has recently urged the Iranian government to provide medical treatment to two political prisoners who are said to be at risk of dying due to Iranian prison conditions.

Mohammad Reza Pourshajari was arrested for blogging in September 2010, and is currently serving a four-year prison term. He had a heart attack and has been suffering from prostate disease, and has kidney stones, high sugar level, breathing problems, and high blood pressure. Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi was arrested for his religious beliefs on 8 October 2006 and is serving 11 years in prison. He suffers from Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, breathing and walking problems, kidney stones and a heart condition.

According to a UN news release, the health condition of both men has deteriorated due to “physical abuse, poor prison conditions, prolonged solitary confinement, and other forms of repeated torture and ill-treatment.” They are in need of urgent hospital transfer.

Prison reform

The group of UN human rights experts consisted of the UN Special Rapporteurs on Iran, on the right to health, on torture, on freedom of expression, and on freedom of religion. They reminded the Iranian Government of its obligations under international standards to respect the prisoners’ right to health and to ensure humane treatment, which requires transferring sick prisoners who need specialist medical care to a specialized institution or civil hospital. They also stressed that, “pending the release of prisoners of conscience, the Government should take immediate measures to investigate all allegations related to the denial of access to medical care, conditions of detention and the treatment of prisoners in compliance with international standards and to embark on more comprehensive prison reforms.”

Press release