Iran Political Prisoner Denied Urgent Medical Treatment
An imprisoned teachers’ rights activist in Iran is being denied the urgent specialized medical treatment he needs to treat a bone tumour in his left forearm that has only grown larger in prison because he has not had any treatment.
Mohammad Habibi, who is currently held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, was briefly transferred to a Tehran hospital in November 2018 for more tests and a diagnostic surgery, but prison authorities removed him before he could receive specialized medical care because they didn’t want to pay the cost.
Habibi’s family raised the money to pay for his treatment back in March, but authorities have refused to transfer him to hospital for diagnostic surgery to find out what kind of tumour it is, despite repeated requests. His family fear it is a malign and cancerous tumour.
Habibi has also been suffering from extreme pain in his chest and lungs since his violent arrest over a year ago, but the doctors at the prison’s clinic have only given him an inhaler.
Habibi, a member of the board of directors of the Iran Teachers Trade Association, was originally arrested on March 3, 2018, outside the Tehran school where he taught, in front of his students.
The regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), designated as a terror group by the US in April 2019, pepper sprayed and beat him, before transferring him to an undisclosed location. There he spent roughly 16 days in solitary confinement, only being allowed to leave if he was being subjected to interrogations or torture before he was transferred to Evin Prison.
He was released on bail on April 15, 2018 but was violently arrested on May 10, 2018 for taking part in a peaceful demonstration outside the building of the Budget and Planning Organization in Tehran.
He stood trial on July 23, 2018 at Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The trial lasted two hours, he didn’t see his lawyer until 10 minutes before his trial, and the judges ignored the obvious signs of torture on his body.
He was convicted of “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state” and “disturbing public order” and sentenced to 10.5 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court in August 2018. He will have to serve at least 7.5 years and is also subjected to a two-year travel ban, a two-year ban on union or political party membership, and 74 lashes, after being released.
This sentence was upheld by the Appeals Court on December 24, 2018.