Saturday , 29 January 2022

Jailed Activist at Risk of Hearing Loss Due to Lack of Medical Care

Iran-HRM – Civil activist Saeed Eghbali could lose hearing in one ear if Iranian authorities continue to refuse to transfer him to a hospital outside of Evin Prison where he has been held since May 2020.

The state security forces beaten and violently arrested Saeed Eghbali in 2017, causing a 70% rupture of the right eardrum.

Saeed Eghbali’s ear infection has worsened in recent days, causing intense pain for him.

Prison doctors have so far only given him painkillers.

The prison’s doctor has repeatedly prescribed that he must undergo surgery immediately or he will completely lose his hearing in one year. But authorities told Eghbali’s family that they had not yet received a letter from the prison medical staff stating that Saeed was in critical condition and needed surgery.

According to Article 520 of Iran’s Criminal Code, prisoners suffering from acute illnesses are eligible for five days of leave if approved by the prosecutor. Article 522 states that prisoners who require medical treatment outside the prison for non-urgent issues are eligible for release for a period of time determined by a criminal court judge.

According to the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which all UN Member States are expected to abide by, “…Sick prisoners who require specialist treatment shall be transferred to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals.”

Iran’s authorities however pressures the prisoners of conscience and other political prisoners by denying them adequate medical care, putting them at grave risk of irreversible damage to their health and even death.

Saeed Eghbali was first arrested by intelligence agents at his home in Kermanshah on February 1, 2018 and transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Center, Ward 209 of Evin Prison.
He was later released on bail from prison on April 1, 2018.

Saeed Eghbali was sentenced to five years in prison by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, in September 2019, on charges of “assembly and colusion against national security” and to one year in prison on charges of “propaganda activities against the state.”

This verdict was upheld by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals.

According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, which allows defendants to serve only the longest sentence in cases involving multiple convictions, Eghbali has to serve five years behind bars
He was arrested on May 31, 2020, to start serving his sentence.