Prisoner in Need of Urgent Medical Care
March 30, 2016
Afshin Sohrabzadeh, a member of Iran’s Kurdish minority serving a 25-year prison term in “internal exile” at a remote prison in southern Hormozgan province, is in urgent need of specialized medical treatment outside prison. He suffers from a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition, exacerbated by prolonged lack of adequate treatment.
Afshin Sohrabzadeh, aged 24, requires urgent specialized medical care for a life-threatening gastrointestinal health problem which has resulted in recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding and severe drops in his blood pressure. He is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for “enmity against God” (moharebeh). In February 2012 he was put in “internal exile” (whereby prisoners are relocated to a remote part of the country) and transferred to Minab Prison, in Hormozgan Province. Since then he has been admitted numerous times as an emergency patient in hospitals in Minab and Bandarabbas, in Hormozgan Province, and returned to prison each time without receiving proper diagnoses and treatment, apparently due to lack of adequate medical facilities. As a result, his health has severely deteriorated, prompting even the prison officials to request the Prosecution authorities to allow him to serve his sentence in a province equipped with better medical facilities. These requests have been rejected to date.
Between August and November 2015 the authorities transferred Afshin Sohrabzadeh twice to Tehran’s Evin Prison, purportedly with the aim of providing him with specialized medical care in the state-owned Imam Khomeini hospital in Tehran. However, he was denied the medical care that was promised on both occasions. The reason that the medical care was denied the first time is unknown. It appears that the second time his family, who are poor, could not pay the fee of 700 million Rials (around $20,000) which was unlawfully demanded by the authorities in order to cover Afshin Sohrabzadeh’s care. Prison authorities are legally required to protect the health of those in their custody and to bear their medical costs.
Afshin Sohrabzadeh was arrested on 8 June 2010, and held incommunicado for several weeks in a Ministry of Intelligence detention centre in Kamyaran, Kurdistan Province, where he said he was tortured: this included severe beatings that apparently fractured his nose and led to a hernia of the abdomen. In addition to his gastrointestinal illness, he is also believed to suffer from respiratory, renal and urinary tract health problems, which he says were caused by his torture, and have worsened due to conditions in prison.
Please write immediately in Persian, English or your own language:
n Calling on the Iranian authorities to ensure that Afshin Sohrabzadeh is immediately provided with the specialized medical treatment he requires, outside prison and free of charge, in line with international standards;
n Urging them to investigate his allegations of torture, and to ensure that he is protected from further torture and other ill-treatment, including denial of necessary medical care.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 11 MAY 2016 TO:
Office of the Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Prosecutor General of Minab