November 23, 2017

U.S. and U.N. Must Compel Iran to Provide Medical Care to Political Prisoners

Statement

 

Washington, DC; August 24, 2017 – National Coalition of Pro-Democracy Advocates condemns Iranian regime’s treatment of political prisoners, including inhumane denial of medical care.

Conditions in Iranian prisons are so poor that in recent weeks, political prisoners have been forced to stage hunger strikes with the hope of receiving the most basic of healthcare services. In the city of Karaj, more than a dozen political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience have gone on hunger strike, in protest.

As reported by Amnesty International, “On 30 July about 53 political prisoners were violently transferred to Section 10 of Raja’i Shahr prison. Among them are prisoners of conscience including human rights defenders, trade unionists, journalists, students, peaceful political dissidents, and members of Iran’s persecuted Baha’i community.” At least 17 of these prisoners went on hunger strike in protest. Instead of meeting their demands, “some of the prisoners who went on hunger strike were held in solitary confinement for up to 12 days as punishment for their peaceful protest.”

In addition, Iranian authorities have covered prison cell windows, sealed doors and exterior openings, and installed cameras as well as listening devices in private areas of prisons – including toilets & showers.

Such inhumane and degrading treatment of politically incarcerated persons or prisoners of conscience is clearly in violation of international human rights law. We call on the United Nations, the United States government, and international human rights organizations to pressure Iranian authorities to help restore humane prison conditions and provide adequate medical care consistent with international law.