A critically ill political prisoner in Adelabad prison, Shiraz, is being denied medical access despite suffering from a range of serious medical issues including a spinal cord disorder, which causes coordination loss, numbness, swallowing difficulties, impaired movement, and severe pain, as well as bladder and bowel control issues.
Hossein Sepanta, who was sentenced to 13.5 years in prison in 2013, requires specialised medical care every day for the rest of his life and that’s not available in prison. Due to being denied the proper medical treatment, he regularly wakes up in the night screaming in pain.
He has requested parole eight times so far, citing his deteriorating condition, an informed source said, but each time the regime has rejected him and kept him in pain in prison.
Sepanta has also lost a lot of weight recently, in addition to having trouble walking, which makes it difficult to get to the bathroom. His family are supplying the strong painkillers he requires, even though the family don’t have much money and it is the responsibility of the state to pay for the medical treatment of prisoners.
Iran Human Rights Monitor in this regard stated: “International laws on the treatment of prisoners state that those who require specialized treatment or surgery not available in detention facilities should be transferred to appropriate institutions or civilian hospitals. Iran’s own prison regulations stipulate similar standards… Prison and judicial authorities regularly risk prisoners’ health by delaying or preventing their transfer to outside medical facilities. In some cases, these delays have caused severe and irreversible harm.”
Sepanta changed his last name after he converted from Islam to the Zoroastrian religion, which like all religions except for Islam results in persecution by the regime for followers.
Sepanta was first arrested at age 20 in 2000 by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on the following charges “propaganda against the state” and “membership in anti-state groups”. A source said that he was arrested for comments that he made online.
He was rearrested by the IRGC in 2013 on the following charges “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security”. He has served six years and should be able to be paroled, if not for the request being denied.
This is yet another example of the Iranian regime punishing political prisoners in inhumane ways, with denial of medical treatment being a type of torture. This is often used to extract fake confessions from people that can be used to bring further charges against them.