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Iran: Political Prisoners’ Health Conditions Deteriorating

NCRI Staff

NCRI – Health conditions of political prisoners in Iran’s Rajaee-Shahr prison have deteriorated as prison officials and regime’s judiciary prevent the prisoners from being sent to health centers. According to reports, the political prisoner ‘Majid Assadi’, who is suffering from his liver tumor, is in critical condition due to being denied of necessary medical treatments.

Meanwhile, Assadi’s family have repeatedly referred to regime’s prosecutor office, demanding that the political prisoner be hospitalized and undergo specialized treatment, a demand that is yet to be accepted by regime officials despite the doctors emphasizing that Majid Assadi needs to immediately undergo specialized treatment.

In the meantime, Saeid Shirzad also needs medical treatment following his longtime hunger strike. The political prisoner is suffering from kidney and lumbar disc problems and his health status has deteriorated following his hunger strike.

While — following two months of efforts by Shirzad’s family — regime’s prosecutor has permitted the political prisoner to undergo physiotherapy treatment, the prison officials still refuse to do so.

Majid Assadi was sentenced to six years in prison a few months ago for ‘acting against national security through gathering and colluding’ and ‘launching propaganda against the regime’.

He declared a few weeks ago that regime’s judiciary considers his refusal to take part in a state TV interview as a proof of his alleged charges. Majid Assadi was last arrested in his house in Karaj by security forces in January 2017, during which the agents inspected Assadi’s residing place and seized some of his personal belongings.

Assadi, 34, was previously arrested for his political activities. The former Tehran’s Allameh Tabatabi University’s student activist was first arrested in July 2008 by regime’s Ministry of Intelligence. He was released three month later on bail. In March 2010, branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati sentenced Assadi to four years in jail on charges of ‘gathering and colluding to act against national security’. The sentence was then also approved by regime’s appeals court, following which the former student activist was taken to section 350 of the notorious Evin Prison on October 5, 2011. After serving his four year sentence, Assadi was released from prison on June 8, 2015.

Saeid Shirzad and a number of other political prisoners staged a two-month hunger strike starting from July 23, 2017, to protest against pressures applied to prisoners by Rajaee-Shahr prison officilals. Shirzad was later beaten and transferred to prison’s section 3 in mid-September, 2017.

Shirzad was first arrested after launching a relief operation for Azarbayjan’s quake-stricken residents. He was released 19 days later on bail. On June 2, 2014, Shirzad was once again arrested in his workplace in Tabriz Refinery and transferred to Evin Priosn. He was later sent into exile in Rajaee-Shahr prison for his pursuing prisoners’ protests.

After going through 15 months of uncertainty and imprisonment, Shirzad was charged with ‘gathering and colluding’ and sentenced to five years in prison by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court Judge Abolghasem Salavati. This was while the political prisoner was earlier sentenced to one year suspended imprisonment, a sentence that was turned into a prison term in the new court ruling.

Among his activities, Shirzad was involved in relief operations in Bushehr’s quake-stricken areas as well as Sistan and Baluchestan’s deprived ones. Shirzad was also involved in educating quake-hit children in deprived areas, providing healthcare training and facilities, outfitting accommodations set up for earthquake survivors, providing standard electrical wiring for earthquake victims’ residing conexes, and communicating with quake-hit and suffering children so as to prepare them for dealing with their unfavorable conditions.