Mohammad Nourizad at risk of death in prison in Iran

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Evin Prison

Evin Prison

Imprisoned human rights defender Mohammad Nourizad’s wife, Fatemeh Maleki says he continues to be held at Evin Prison despite the Forensic Medical Organisation’s report that considers him unfit to serve his sentence due to the severity of his physical ill-health.

Documentary maker, journalist and political prisoner, Mohammad Nourizad is one of the 14 activists who in June 2019 signed an open letter to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei demanding his resignation. Since being arrested on 11 August 2019, he has been on several long hunger strikes in protest to the psychological pressures by wardens at Evin and Mashhad Prisons, leading to the further deterioration of his physical health. On 2 May 2020, days after his son Ali’s sentencing, Mohammad attempted to commit suicide in Mashhad Prison in protest to the pressure on his family.

Speaking to Iran Human Rights about his health and the lack of medical care in prison, Fatemeh Maleki said: “Due to heart problems, my husband is fainting once every few days and hospital visits have proven fruitless. After fainting again, he was transferred to Taleghani Hospital by prison authorities two weeks ago but after doing one test, he was returned to prison without any results.”

According to Fatemeh, her husband considers the hospital visits over the past few months to have been “useless” and has refused to go to any outside medical facilities since his last visit two weeks ago.

Sentenced to 15 years in prison, three years exile to Izeh in Khuzestan (1000 km southwest of Mashhad) and a three year ban from leaving the country for “forming an illegal group and propaganda against the system” by Branch Four of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad, Mohammad is currently denied phone calls and only permitted one cabin visit per week with his family.

Pointing to the multiple medical reports that deem Mohammad’s “detention to be dangerous,” Fatemeh continued: “Aside from the Forensic Medical Organisation and members of the Medical Commission, doctors and medical staff at Atieh and Taleghani Hospitals where he has been sent in the last months, have warned both verbally and in writing that lack of specialised medical care and the continuation of his detention will put him in danger of death.”

Mohammad’s lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi also told IHR: “Unfortunately, the Forensic Medical Organisation’s opinion has not been implemented in my client’s case.”

Speaking about the legal process involved in Mohammad’s case, he said: “His case must be referred to the court by the supervising prison prosecutor or the presiding judge responsible for the implementation of sentences in order for the court to overturn its previous judgement. Should the court authorise an alternative sentence for Mohammad, he can be released from prison for treatment.”

According to Mr Aghasi, in such cases, the courts usually consider “pecuniary penalties” or “actions the prisoner can perform outside prison” as alternative sentences.

Like his father, Ali Nourizad is also serving time behind bars. On 23 April 2020, Ali was sentenced to four years and six months in prison and a two year ban on membership in political parties, groups and factions on charges including “assembly and collusion to act against national security through participating in the January 2020 gatherings,”, “propaganda activities against the system” and “insulting the leadership.”

The “January 2020 gathering” refers to the protests against the downing of Ukrainian Flight PS752 in January 2020. Ali has been held in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary (Fashafuyeh) since 3 October 2020, when his sentence was implemented.

Calling her son innocent, Fatemeh Maleki described the unsanitary conditions at the prison: “My son is being held with protesters arrested in connection to the November 2019 nationwide protests in Ward 10 of the 2nd Brigade in Fashafuyeh Prison. Ali and his cellmates have no access to hot water so they can only shower once every ten days.”

According to the political prisoner’s mother, Ali is forced to purchase food from the prison commissary with his own money due to the low quality of the food.

Ali was arrested on 13 January 2020 and according to his mother was tried in absentia. Ali was transferred to Fashafuyeh Prison on 3 October 2020 to serve his sentence, while according to their lawyer, Mr Aghasi, authorities had promised to keep Ali with his father at Evin Prison.

Source » iranhr

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