September 27, 2015

Death of trade unionist must trigger action to tackle appalling prison conditions

AmnestyMore broadly, Amnesty International calls on the Iranian authorities to urgently address the inhumane detention conditions prevalent in many of Iran’s prisons, which contribute to medical conditions developing in prisoners or exacerbate pre-existing ones. The authorities must also ensure that all those in detention have access to adequate medical treatment in line with international human rights standards and ensure that those needing specialized treatment are granted medical leave.
Cleric Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, a 57-year-old serving an 11-year prison sentence on charges related to him advocating the separation of religion and state, suffers from a number of illnesses, including diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, kidney and heart problems, as well as severe pain in his legs and waist. He has not been provided with the medical treatment he requires, even though prison doctors said in February 2014 that he needed to be hospitalized outside of prison. In August 2015, he said: “I have experienced all kinds of torment to the point that I have lost all of my health… my legs are becoming paralysed, my eyes are becoming blind, my lungs are in danger of failing, my heart is on a path to a heart attack.”
Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, has expressed concern about reports of insufficient or non-existent access to medical services for prisoners. In his March 2015 report, the Special Rapporteur stated that a number of prisoners were reportedly at risk of dying in prison due to inadequate medical attention. According to the Special Rapporteur, many prisoners are deprived of their right to receive proper medical treatment in medical clinics and hospitals outside prison despite urgently needing medical care.1
Whether done with intent 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 amount to a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture :

Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Mandela Rules) (Rules 24-35). Rule 27

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