Ebrahim Yazdi’s Deteriorating Health in Evin Prison
A reliable source recently spoke with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran regarding the case of Ebrahim Yazdi. In the interview, the source alleged that security officers have demanded that in return for Yazdi’s release from prison, he promise not to have meetings with ambassadors from Islamic countries after his release. “Dr. Yazdi told them that these individuals have been my friends for many years and I cannot cut off relations with them. The interrogators have set one of the conditions for Mr. Yazdi’s release as his retirement from political activities, asking him to resign from all political activities. This is an issue Dr. Yazdi has not accepted to oblige in no uncertain terms,” the source said.
According to the source, Yazdi who is detained inside ward 209 of Evin prison, has been transferred to the prison infirmary several times during his detention. Yazdi is a cancer patient who suffered extensively during his detention and interrogations last year, developing a heart condition and being forced to have open heart surgery. “He suffers from high blood pressure, too; keeping an 80-year old man in small and gruesome cells inside ward 209, the interrogations, and blindfolds for any coming and going, even for using the bathroom, have created conditions that at any moment might lead to his death in this ward,” the source told the Campaign.
“He has not had telephone contact with his family during his detention. He has only been able to see them once through a booth. Mr. Yazdi is kept in a very small cell and without any facilities in the same cell with a man who is accused of financial crimes. During his detention, every day or every other day his blood pressure has fluctuations which cause him to pass out. The physicians and medical assistants go to his side, transferring him to Evin prison’s infirmary, stabilizing him through injections and IV’s. Doctors inside the ward 209 infirmary have told his interrogators several times that even one hour of detention inside ward 209 and the prison as a whole, is dangerous and anything could happen to him,” added the source.
“Dr. Yazdi’s morale is very high. He constantly debates with his interrogators and does not accept the things they tell him. The interrogators have attempted to agitate him several times, lying to him that the physician at the prison infirmary has described his general conditions as good… and should something happen to him, they would publish the reports; therefore they are not worried that he might die inside the prison,” the source told the Campaign about the mental pressure exerted on Yazdi during his detention.
“The interrogators have told Dr. Yazdi these lies in order to intimidate and hurt him, while doctors inside ward 209’s infirmary have repeatedly asked for his immediate release, issuing warnings against his continued detention,” the source continued.
“It had been announced that his trial would be held on 7 December, but despite his family’s presence at the court, the trial was not held. After his family and lawyer pursued the matter, it turned out that due to his deteriorating health conditions, security forces were unable to transfer him from Evin prison to the Revolutionary Courts, and this is why his court date was postponed to another day and an unknown time,” the source said about the developments in Yazdi’s case.
“Dr. Yazdi is simultaneously suffering from cancer, heart disease, and blood pressure. Also this 80-year old man is being kept in very bad conditions in security ward 209 of Evin prison, with less than an hour a week of access to fresh air outdoors. He is not kept in the general ward of the prison and at all times is being kept in a solitary cell that is less than 10 square meters, and the medical facilities are at lowest levels. The family and friends of Dr. Yazdi are concerned that, God forbid, something horrible might happen to him while in prison and there is every possibility that he might die in ward 209 and that his body might come out of prison,” the source said.
Dr. Ebrahim Yazdi was the first Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was arrested on 1 October in his home in Isfahan. Yazdi was charged with “illegal prayer” while he was attending the funeral of one of his friends’ daughter. He was then transferred to ward 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison, which is under the oversight of the Intelligence Ministry.