Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International

Jailed Cleric Seriously ill, Denied Treatment: Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi

Amnesty International
‍Amnesty International
April 2, 2014
Appeal/Urgent Action

jailed cleric seriously ill, denied TREATMENT

The health of jailed Iranian cleric Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, a prisoner of conscience held in Tehran’s Evin Prison, is worsening. He is in urgent need of medical treatment.

Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, serving an 11-year prison sentence, suffers from a number of illnesses, including diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, kidney and heart problems and severe pain in his legs and waist. He has also reportedly gone partly blind in one of his eyes. His health conditions have apparently worsened and he collapses frequently. He has not been provided with the medical treatment he requires, though prison doctors said in February 2014 that he needed to be hospitalized outside the prison. During the eight years he has spent in prison, he has been admitted to hospital three times.

He is now held in Evin Prison’s Ward for the Clergy: he was imprisoned for advocating the separation of religion and state. He has been under increased pressure to write and sign “confessions”. Prison officials have told him at least once, in October 2013, that if he does not write a letter recanting his beliefs, he will never be released.

Prison guards reportedly raided Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi’s cell on 15 March and destroyed his personal belongings. This happened during visiting hours when he was with his family. His family members have also been harassed, even during a prison visit, when they had to undergo invasive body searches. In September 2013 Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi’s wife, Akram Vali Dousti, was summoned for questioning by the Special Court for Clerics (SCC).

Please write immediately in Persian, English or your own language:

Calling on the Iranian authorities to release Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi immediately and unconditionally as he is a prisoner of conscience;

Calling on them to ensure that he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment and is granted any medical attention he may require, outside the prison if necessary, as recommended by the prison clinic;

Urging them to stop the harassment of Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi’s family.



Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street- End of Shahid

KeshvarDoust Street

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Twitter: @khamenei_ir

Email: [email protected]

Salutation: Your Excellency


Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

c/o Public Relations Office

Number 4, 2 Azizi Street intersection

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

(Subject line: FAO

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani)

Salutation: Your Excellency


And copies to:

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Hassan Rouhani

The Presidency

Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian) �

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation


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jailed cleric seriously ill, denied TREATMENT



Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi was arrested on 8 October 2006 and charged with some 30 offences, including “waging war against God” (moharebeh); committing acts against national security; publicly calling the principle of political leadership by the clergy unlawful; having links with anti-revolutionaries and spies; and using the term “religious dictatorship” instead of “Islamic Republic” in public discourse and radio interviews. He was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment on 13 August 2007 and defrocked (banned from wearing his clerical robes and thereby from practicing his clerical duties), and his house and all his belongings were confiscated. His family had appointed lawyers for him but the SCC refused to allow them to defend him on the grounds that only clerics appointed by the Judiciary could make representations on his behalf. He was the subject of UA 262/06 (most recent update: Iran: Further Information on Arbitrary Arrest/Fear for Safety: Ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi (MDE 13/047/2009), http://amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/047/2009/en.

He is understood to have been transferred from the Ward for the Clergy in Evin Prison to solitary confinement for some time in May 2013 for writing an open letter calling on the people of Iran to boycott the country’s 2013 presidential election. This appears to have prompted the authorities to transfer him to solitary confinement as a punitive measure.

Whether done purposely or by neglect, failing to provide adequate medical care to vulnerable prisoners is a breach of Iran’s international human rights obligations. The denial of medical treatment may amount to a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights also recognizes the right of all persons to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners also states that prisoners who require specialist treatment must be transferred to specialist institutions or civil hospitals. Equipment and pharmaceutical supplies in prison medical facilities are required to be appropriate for the medical care and treatment of sick prisoners. The UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment Principles 24 also states that medical care and treatment shall be provided to prisoners whenever necessary.

Iran’s own prison regulations are also routinely flouted by prison and judicial officials. Article 229 of the Iranian Prison Regulations stipulates that a prisoner suffering from a serious medical condition that cannot be treated inside prison or whose condition will worsen if they stay in prison, should be released by the prison authorities for one month’s medical leave, renewable on the recommendation of a doctor and with the agreement of the Prison Director. However, Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi’s repeated requests for medical leave have been denied. Additionally, prison conditions in Iran are poor, exacerbating pre-existing medical conditions.

Amnesty International has documented the cases of other prisoners in Iran who have been routinely denied access to adequate medical care, including blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, whose doctor said he has a kidney infection in his one remaining kidney, as well as a condition called Hydronephrosis, where the kidney become stretched and swollen as a result of a build-up of urine inside the kidney; blogger Mohammad Reza Pourshajari, who has suffered two heart attacks in prison and has blockage in his arteries; and Bahareh Hedayat, who has reproductive health issues, according to her husband, Amin Ahmadian..

Name: Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi

Gender m/f: m



UA: 78/14 Index: MDE 13/016/2014 Issue Date: 2 April 2014