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Iran: Exile, prevention of medical care, and ratcheted up pressures on political prisoners

According to reports from inside Iran, Khossrow Kordpour, a journalist in Mahabad Prison (in Kurdistan province, west of Iran) was sent to the Tabriz central prison on exile. This prisoner that has spent a year in prison was transferred to Tabriz prison on March 18. Jafar Kordpour, the brother of this Kurdish journalist, posted in his facebook: “On the eve of Nowruz and the Persian New Year, Khossrow is sent on exile to Tabriz prison”

Concurrently, three Kurdish political activists in the prison of Diezelabad in Kermanshah, western Iran, went on a hunger strike. These three prisoners staged this strike on March 16 to protest unbearable psychological and physical tortures. The three, Mohsen Khodayar, Kianoush Rostami and Nemat Fati, are in dire physical conditions. They have been condemned by the judicial apparatus to 40 years in prison. They were arrested on the charge of “acting against national security and propaganda for the opposition Kurdish parties”. 

During this same period, on March 19, Reza Shahabi, member of the board of directors of bus drivers syndicate  who had been sent to Khomeini Hospital in Tehran for back surgery was suddenly returned back to his cell at night before his surgery.

Reza Shahabi who was already too late for this surgery was returned back to his cell while his physicians insist that he needs to undergo surgery as soon as possible; otherwise, he will have serious back and neck problems.

The physical problems of Reza Shahabi in the back and neck were the result of his battering during his arrest and then the tortures he underwent inside the prison.

Depriving prisoners of medical care is a routine method used by the Iranian government to force political prisoners to repent, but it has also been used on many other prisoners as well.