Another New Year Spent in Exile Prison for Ailing Student
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Hamed Rouhinejad’s father, Mohammad Rouhinejad, spoke about his son’s multiple sclerosis and lack of access to prison furlough after two years. “I had an in-person visit with him on 22 March. His health is as before. His illness has not worsened nor improved. He is in stable condition because he has been receiving his shots. But he was devoid of energy and joy. I mean, basically there is no passion and excitement about the [Iranian] New Year inside the prison. They don’t allow us to give holiday gifts to our prisoners. I mean, taking any merchandise inside the prison has always been forbidden,” Mohammad Rouhinejad said.
“I gave the first request to Zanjan authorities and they said it is not related to them and that I must appeal to Tehran’s Prosecutor’s Office. I went to the office of Mr. Dowlatabadi, but it is not possible to see him. His secretary took my letter and said he would read it, and if the answer is positive he would act on it. But when I went back they said Hamed will not be given leave for now,” said Mohammad Rouhinejad, regarding his efforts to secure a New Year’s leave for his son.
“Some things are predictable, you can guess whether the request would be approved or not. Experience has shown us that political prisoners will not be allowed leave; this is why I was not waiting for a positive answer either,” said Rouhinejad, who no longer holds hope for his son’s leave or release from prison.
“Last week I took four of his shots for him to use. I constantly travel to Zahjan from Tehran, and take his shots so his disease will not become acute. But his eye condition is the same as before. One of his eyes has no sight and his other eye has about 30 percent vision; however he can do his daily chores. Currently his disease is stable with the medication he takes,” he told the Campaign.
Asked about the request made to judicial authorities he said, “What an I say? I’d just like to thank Zanjan’s prison authorities, because they helped with my son’s illness. With the help of Zanjan’s Prison Chief, I was able to get a medical card for Hamed. Now I regularly get his medicines and take them to him. Prison authorities take them and he gets his shots regularly. On the other hand, I am also able to take him to the doctor. About a month ago, I took him to the doctor, and at the end of this month I have to take him again. The doctor believes if Hamed gets his regular injections, his disease will not spread.”
In regards to how human rights organizations may be able to help his son Rouhinejad said, “I know that human rights activists won’t be able to help, because basically no one has the power to confront [the authorities] unless authorities of the Iranian regime stop targeting our children.”
Hamed Rouhinejad, 24, is a philosophy student at Shahid Beheshti University who was arrested on 3 May 2009 on charges of inciting riots. He was first sentenced to death and then to 10 years in prison in exile by an appeals court. He is spending his second Nowruz (New Year) in prison while suffering from multiple sclerosis, loss of his eyesight, and his overall physical strength.