It has been two weeks since Iranian political prisoner Saba Kord Afshari injured her ankle, but she still hasn’t received the appropriate medical care in Evin Prison.
On Wednesday, now unable to walk without a cane, she opened the cast herself to see that her ankle is badly swollen and bruised. Her fellow inmates took her to the prison clinic and staff promised to send her to a public hospital at lunchtime.
All the while all the Iranian hospitals are filled with patients that have suspected coronavirus and putting Kord Afshari at risk when she would likely not able to be seen anyway.
Kord Afshari has various GI complications, which means that she is more at risk from coronavirus, and the failure of the regime to treat (or even isolate) prisoners meant that she would be putting herself and others at risk.
On September 19, she was taken to Taleghani Hospital in Tehran for a separate reason, but because she did not have money on her (because the regime did not allow a relative to bring her bank card), she could not pay her expenses and was returned to prison without treatment.
Kord Afshari was arrested on June 1, 2019, in Tehran for protesting against the mandatory veil and was taken to Vozara Penitentiary, where she was held in solitary confinement for 10 days and forced to confess under duress. She was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
In a related case, Kurdish researcher and writer Mojgan Kavousi refused to undergo an operation at Taleghani hospital because of the risk of coronavirus.
She was sentenced to 6 years and three months’ in prison for peaceful activism and protested this through a hunger strike from September 1–23, which she only ended because doctors’ advised that her health was not good enough to continue.
Meanwhile, four female activists were arrested in Tehran and Ilam over the past few days. They have been named as Shabnam Ashouri, Khadijeh Mehdipour, Neda Pir-Khezranian, and Andisheh Sadri.
Ashouri was arrested at her home in Tehran over her work as managing editor of Agahnameh magazine, which deals with the issues of Iranian workers.
Pir-Khezranian and Sadri, two social media activists, were arrested in Tehran on October 6 and it is not known where they are now.
Mehdipour, who was arrested on October 5 at her home in Ilam-e Gharb for her use of Instagram, is detained in the general women’s quarantine ward in the Central Prison of Ilam but has not been given access to a lawyer.