Sunday , 13 June 2021

Jailed retired teacher contracts COVID-19 in Evin Prison

Iran-HRM – An Iranian retired teacher Nahid Fathalian has contracted the coronavirus at the women’s ward of the notorious Evin Prison.

Retired teacher Nahid Fathalian tested positive for the virus at the women ward of Tehran’s Evin prison.

Nahid Fathalian needs to receive proper treatment, while her stay in prison would threaten the health of other prisoners.

Evin Prison authorities have not tested other prisoners and have not separated Fathalian from other inmates putting them at risk of contracting the virus.

Intelligence services have detained her in the women’s ward of Evin Prison in legal limbo since April 2020.

Iran has suffered the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East.

The Iranian prison system’s chronic overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions have worsened during the pandemic.

Prisoners who have long complained of poor conditions and inadequate healthcare say the staff have failed to minimize the risks of Covid-19 transmission and ignored their medical needs and requests.

Civil rights activists and human rights lawyers have repeatedly warned the clerical regime of the grave dangers prisoners face amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite official claims that a large number of prisoners have been freed on furlough as a precautionary measure, most political prisoners, dissidents and prisoners of conscience have been remained behind bars during the pandemic.

Intelligence services arrested Nahid Fathalian on April 14, 2020. She was taken under interrogation immediately after her arrest.

On May 9, 2020, she was transferred to a solitary cell in the Intelligence Ministry detention center known as Ward 209 in Evin Prison. Her interrogations ended in early September, and she was transferred to the women’s ward of the prison.

Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran convened on September 16, 2020, to examine her charges. The charges leveled against Nahid Fathalian included “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” and “destruction of public properties.”

The Prosecutor said she participated in the November 2019 nationwide protests, and distributed posters and flyers protesting the living conditions of teachers and retirees.

Nahid Fathalian was arrested along with 17 other citizens on similar charges. The common charge against all of them was “cooperation with one of the opposition organizations (i.e., the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

The Iranian Resistance issued a statement on May 5, 2020, publishing the names and pictures of 20 Iranians including six women and two elite students from Sharif Industrial University who have been arrested in Tehran and other cities.