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Iran Human Rights Update

 Maryam and Reza Akbari Monfared

In one instance, the regime has been making considerable efforts to keep a pair of imprisoned siblings from having any contact with one another. Reza Akbari Monfared was one of dozens of prisoners injured and subsequently denied medical treatment or visitation rights after a raid on Ward 350 of Evin Prison, where numerous political prisoners are housed.

 Mofared was arrested in 2012 on the basis of his apparent affiliation with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), as he has relatives at Camp Liberty in Iraq. He is serving a five and a half year sentence. His sister, Maryam Akbari Monfared had previously been arrested in 2010 and is serving a sentence of 15 years in the same prison.

 Concerned for her brother’s well-being following the April 17 raid on Ward 350, Ms. Monfared requested that prison authorities allow her to visit him. Such visitation would require nothing more than her being escorted by guards from one prison ward to another. Her request was denied.

 The NCRI concludes that the siblings are being targeted on the basis of their affiliations, and kept apart so that they can possibly be used as bargaining chips in exerting pressure on one sibling or the other, or else on their family abroad. The same family has been targeted by the regime in the past, with four Monfareds having been executed between 1981 and 1988, at the height of the regime’s crackdown on political opponents.

 Motahareh Bahrami and Ahmad Daneshpour

Elsewhere in Evin Prison, Motahareh Bahrami is also being held as a political prisoner. She was arrested in 2009, on the holy day of Ashura, along with her husband, son, and two friends. All five were initially sentenced to death for their affiliation with the MEK and for “colluding against national security” and “spreading propaganda.” Bahrami’s sentence has since been commuted, but her husband’s and son’s death sentences were upheld.

 Bahrami is now nearly 60 years old and is reportedly suffering from multiple ailments, with symptoms including severe back pain and foot pain. Prison authorities have consistently denied her access to medical treatment. She had previously been transferred to a hospital for serious heart problems, but was returned to prison before full treatment could be carried out.

 Similarly, her son, Ahmad Daneshpour, is reportedly suffering from intestinal cancer but has been denied medical treatment, as well. In January of this year, he slipped into a coma due to tetanus and was transferred to a hospital, but was immediately returned to his cell, without proper treatment, upon regaining consciousness.

 Ali Moezzi

Ali Moezzi is yet another example of a political prisoner who is being denied his right to medical treatment. Furthermore, Moezzi has been held in solitary confinement in Karaj Prison for more than two weeks on the orders of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, as a result of his participation in a hunger strike protesting the April 17 raid in Evin Prison.

 Moezzi was first subject to political imprisonment in the 1980s. More recently, he was arrested in 2008 for visiting his own children, MEK members then living at Camp Ashraf, Iraq. In 2011, he was arrested for attending a memorial service for a political prisoner who had died under torture.

 Now 65 years old, Moezzi has been diagnosed with cancer and renal malfunction and has arthritis in his neck. His condition is reportedly worsening in solitary confinement, but he is being denied even the most basic medical attention, while being held under the typically harsh conditions of solitary confinement in Iranian prisons.

 Hossein Khosravi

The NCRI has also uncovered details of a seemingly arbitrary punishment carried out against a Kurdish Iranian citizen last October. Hosseing Khosravi was sentenced to receive 80 lashes on October 28, as punishment for the charge of drinking beer. This brutal punishment was carried out despite the fact that Khosravi had been prescribed beer by a physician as a means of flush his kidney and help him to more easily and safely pass a kidney stone.

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