Women Political Prisoners Suffering Inhumane Care in Iran
As Women’s Day 2016 approaches, the Iranian government continues to be cited by international bodies over its human rights abuses, particularly regarding its female political prisoners.
[USPRwire, Mon Apr 24 2017] As Women’s Day 2016 approaches, the Iranian government continues to be cited by international bodies over its human rights abuses, particularly regarding its female political prisoners. It is estimated that sixty-three women have been executed since Hassan Rouhani’s presidency began in 2013, although sources have noted that many executions are carried out in secret, so this figure could be much higher.
One political prisoner, Maryam Akbari Monfared, has recently been transferred to a clinic to address her thyroid and eyes. Her family is attempting to get her treated at a rheumatology clinic as well. According to reports from NCRI, her conditions could allow her to have been released under article 134 of the Iranian penal code, but this application has been denied.
Her husband has stated that she could also be paroled, but that too was being denied. Monfared has served time in the Rajaei Shahr prison, was transferred to Gharchak prison in Varamin. Her complaints about the prison’s conditions, Monfared as transferred to the women’s ward of Evin prison, where she remained until her transfer to the clinic.
Two of her brothers were executed, one in 1981 and another in 1984 by “revolutionary courts”. Another brother and sister were executed in 1988 massacre as supporters of PMOI/MEK.
Many other prisoners have also continued to struggle with a lack of medical treatment, as well as inadequate food and water. Family members who are paying bail for furloughs of their loved ones are finding themselves dealing with an arbitrary system, where changes in management bring about changes in the regulations for the prisoners and their families.
Other political prisoners are being tried by the Court of Appeals without being present. Hossein Rafie was tried by this court without his presence. He was accused of subversive activities, due to his criticism of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions and his connections to activists outside of the country. Rafie did not agree to be transferred in handcuffs and prison uniform, and the prison refused to transfer him, despite the approval of the judge in the case. He is serving his sentence in the Evin prison and has written about the poor conditions in the prison to family and colleagues.
Other prisoners have been transferred to medical facilities for treatment after continued pressure from their families to deal with a variety of medical conditions. Reports from all of them point to deplorable conditions within these prisons.
Some are even being sent back to prison before medical procedures have been completed and despite the physician’s recommendations. Alireza Golipoor has been transferred back and forth several times, despite his cancer diagnosis and evidence of torture before and after his surgeries.
It is clear that the government of Iran has continued this strategy of abuse and neglect of its political prisoners in an attempt to control the opposition.
However, family and colleagues have continued to report these abuses in an effort to garner international attention for these political prisoners.
Other issues include the lack of representation for prisoners in the courts. Many groups have argued that these courts are not following the laws of Iran. A majority of prisoners serve time in prison with charges not being filed for months.
The complaints from various groups have been building, as more reports are getting out of Iran on the conditions within the prisons and in regards to the hangings. Calls continue for the international community to call Iran to account for these abuses.