“They Want to Kill My Son or Give Him Back Disabled” Says Father of Prisoner of Conscience
Mohammad Reza Rouhinejad, father of a prisoner of conscience who is serving a ten year prison term at Zanjan prison, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that his son is in extremely poor medical condition and intelligence authorities do not allow his family to visit him. Any attempts for a reconsideration of the situation have been fruitless. Rouhinejad told the Campaign that his son, Hamed Rouhinejad, suffers from multiple sclerosis, is kept under extreme psychological and physical pressure, and the mental stress caused by prison conditions have led to an intensification of his illness. Hamed Rouhinejad told his father “they are doing the worst things to me,” reporting that he plans on going on a hunger strike soon.
“They want to kill my son on prison deliberately, or to give him back disabled and bed-ridden,” said Rouhinejad. Hamed Rouhinejad is serving a ten-year prison term in exile after being transferred to Zanjan prison two months ago. Rouhinejad was moved to solitary confinement two weeks ago and has not been allowed to visit or call his family for the past three weeks.
“I hope Hamed has not done this, but during our last visit three weeks ago, he said that if things continue this way, I will go on hunger strike because they are doing the worst things to me. My son said, ‘Dad, don’t bring me this medicine anymore; it has no more effect on me,'” he added. Indicating that in addition to a worsening multiple sclerosis condition, his son has developed other illnesses in prison, Rouhinejad said, “All this has happened in prison. They won’t let us transfer him to a hospital for treatment, either. Before he went to prison, he was under medical treatment and medication for four years. But since he went to prison, they didn’t give him his medicine on time and he received no medical attention. His situation worsened and he lost his vision. It was confirmed at Farabi Hospital that he is losing his vision due to multiple sclerosis. Later, doctors at Imam Khomeini Hospital made the same diagnosis. He has developed stomach, urination, and kidney problems in prison. But, unfortunately, nobody comes to this child’s help.”
“Last time I saw him was three weeks ago and we were allowed to see him through a booth. I can say with certainty that if he stays there a little longer, he will die. I could see him behind the glass. He couldn’t even move his hands anymore. He told me that the disease has affected his hearing, too. He has already lost his vision, only 20% of his vision remains. He also has kidney, stomach, and urination problems. He said my head hurts so much, I wrap a towel around my head every night, hoping to be able to sleep for half an hour,” said Rouhinejad about his last visit with his son.
Rouhinejad told the Campaign that prior to his son’s arrest, he made all Hamed’s lab and doctor’s appointments himself. “I wrote to the Prosecutor, asking him to transfer my son outside the prison, but they said, ‘Your son has to stay in prison. We will treat him ourselves.’ But what kind of treatment is this, when I buy his medicine myself and take it to the prison? I took 9 ampoules to Zanjan Prison with me the last time. I had to beg them to refrigerate them, because they would get spoiled if unrefrigerated. I waited for the officer to take the vials to the infirmary, and I only left after I was reassured. Everyone knows that stress is so dangerous for M.S. Why should he be put in a solitary cell? I get those ampoules through a lot of trouble each time, but now they have lost their effect on my child,” said the prisoner’s father.
“The man in charge of the Ruling Implementation Office told me that a lot of people who were sick when they arrived had gotten well in prison. My child was taken to the hospital in handcuffs and foot chains, along with five forces, but they forgot to bring his records and MRI image for the doctor to see. I hired a car, went to prison and took his medical records from the infirmary, and returned to the hospital. All of this shows to me that they want to destroy my child,” continued Rouhinejad.
“The last time I went to visit him, they said not to come anymore, that ‘we’ll call you ourselves whenever we want you to come for a visit.’ Hamed is not even allowed to use the phone. I talked to the Zanjan prison Warden, he said ‘it’s out of our hands, Intelligence says don’t allow visitation for now.’ We went to the Zanjan Prosecutor, the Ruling Implementation Unit, and to the case file observer, they said that ‘this is a judicial order and we can only obey.’ I came to Tehran and went to see Mr. Dolatabadi, the Tehran Prosecutor, I wrote him a letter, I even went to the Supreme Court and they said their ‘your son must request visitation in writing.’ I said the prisoner has no right to call and meet with anyone; how can I tell him to write the request himself? They said it’s not their business, just that he must write it himself,” said Rouhinejad, stating that he does not know why his son must not be allowed to have visitors.
“The Medical Examiner Office itself diagnosed my son to be in need of three months of care and treatment, but, unfortunately, no one does anything.”
“I said before and I repeat again, when international human rights organizations help with the release of sick foreigners who were arrested in Iran, well, they should also help the kid from this land, my sick son whom M.S. is wearing down. Is it that none of the human rights organizations can do, or will do, anything?! I am asking the United Nations Secretary-General and the other officials to come see and examine him, and if I am mistaken I’ll apologize,” said Rouhinejad.
Hamed Rouhinejad is a 23-year-old philosophy major at the Shahid Beheshti University. He was arrested on 3 May 2009 on charges of instigating mass riots during post-election events last year. He was initially sentenced to death but an appeals court changed his sentence to 10 years imprisonment in exile.