Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International

Prisoner of Conscience Saeed Hosseinzadeh, Started his Hunger Strike

Amnesty International
‍Amnesty International
March 11, 2016
Appeal/Urgent Action


The health of Iranian prisoner of conscience Saeed Hosseinzadeh, a children’s rights activist currently on hunger strike, is deteriorating rapidly. He started his hunger strike more than 20 days ago in protest at the authorities’ refusal to release him, despite doctors declaring him unfit to remain in prison due to his poor health.

Saeed Hosseinzadeh, a 24-year-old children’s rights activist who is serving a five-year prison term for his peaceful activism, started a hunger strike on 19 February. He has stopped taking liquids since 9 March. He has also stopped taking the medicine he needs for a number of illnesses. He is protesting at the authorities’ refusal to release him on the advice of doctors, including prison doctors, that he is unfit to remain in prison due to his ill health. Amnesty International understands that Saeed Hosseinzadeh suffers from several illnesses, including heart disease and joint, digestive and respiratory problems. However, the Sarrollah Unit of the Revolutionary Guards, which carried out the investigations in his case including the interrogations, has apparently blocked his release or medical leave, putting his life in grave danger.

Saeed Hosseinzadeh was arrested in October 2014 in his home in Tehran and was taken to Section 2A of Evin Prison. He was held there for nearly three months including 10 days in solitary confinement. He had no access to a lawyer and says that he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated. His March 2015 trial before a Revolutionary Court in Tehran was extremely brief. He met his lawyer for the first time during the hearing. The court convicted him of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “gathering and colluding against national security” in relation to his peaceful activities such as opposing the death penalty and participating in peaceful gatherings. His sentence has been upheld by an appeal court.

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

n        Calling on the Iranian authorities to release Saeed Hosseinzadeh immediately and unconditionally as he is a prisoner of conscience held solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly; 

n        Calling on them to ensure he has access to a qualified health professional who can provide health care in compliance with medical ethics, including the principles of confidentiality, autonomy and informed consent; 

n        Calling on them to order an independent and impartial investigation into his allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and ensure that he is protected from further torture or other ill-treatment. 




Office of the Supreme Leader 

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei         

Islamic Republic Street- End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street         

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran         

Email: via website         


Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English)

Salutation: Your Excellency 


Head of the Judiciary         

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani         

c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi 

Above Pasteur Intersection 

Vali Asr Street         

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran 

Email: [email protected] 

Salutation: Your Excellency 



And copies to: 

Prosecutor General of Tehran
Abbas Ja’fari Dolat Abadi        

Tehran General and Revolutionary Prosecution Office 

Corner (Nabsh-e) of 15 Khordad Square 

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran 


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         


Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. 

Additional Information

Saeed Hosseinzadeh (full name Mohammad Saeed Hosseinzadeh Movahed) was arrested on 15 October 2014 by men belonging to the Revolutionary Guards at his home in Tehran. The men searched his house and confiscated a number of his personal belongings without showing an arrest or search warrant. They took him to Section 2A of Tehran’s Evin Prison, which is under the control of the Revolutionary Guards. Amnesty international understands that during this time he had limited access to his family and no access to a lawyer. After nearly three months in Section 2A, he was taken to Sections 8 and 7 of the prison. He is now held in Section 7. No investigation is known to have been initiated into Saeed Hosseinzadeh’s allegations of torture. The appeal court has upheld his conviction and sentence without an oral hearing.

Nine days into his hunger strike, Saeed Hosseinzadeh wrote to the Office of the Prosecutor, saying that if his requests for release, based on doctors’ advice, were not met, he would stop taking water as well as food. He was called to the prison’s clinic on 29 February and apparently beaten by a prison official in retaliation for the letter he had written, which has been published by a number of websites. Saeed Hosseinzadeh has been taken to hospital several times but has been returned every time without receiving the attention he requires. He was granted eight days’ leave from prison in December 2015.

The Iranian authorities frequently transfer prisoners in need of medical care to hospital, but Amnesty International understands that prisoners are not always provided with actual medical care and instead are simply returned to prison. Whether done intentionally or by neglect, failing to provide adequate medical care to 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, under Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party. Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Iran is also a state party, specifically recognizes the right of every person to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Mandela Rules) also state that prisons must provide adequate medical care to prisoners without discrimination (Rules 24-35). Rule 27(1) of the Mandela Rules provides that “Prisoners who require specialized treatment or surgery shall be transferred to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals.” See this public statement, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/2508/2015/en/ for more information.

Prison and judicial officials routinely flout Iran’s own prison regulations. The regulations governing the administration of Iranian prisons stipulate 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 granted medical leave so they can receive treatment. Article 502 of the new Code of Criminal Procedure, which entered into force in June 2015, states that “whenever the convicted individual suffers from physical or mental illnesses and the implementation of the sentence would exacerbate the illness or delay the recovery, the judge overseeing the implementation of sentences would, after obtaining the opinion of the Legal Medical Organization, postpone the implementation until the time of the recovery.” It further provides that in cases of ta’zir crimes (Discretionary punishment for crimes for which fixed penalties are not provided in Islamic law), if there is no prospect of recovery and the judge overseeing the implementation of sentences is satisfied that the convicted person is ill and unfit to serve the sentence, he shall refer the case to the court that originally issued the sentence to issue an alternative appropriate sentence.