Imprisoned Blogger Needs Open Heart Surgery
Physicians at Ghezel Hessar Prison have determined that imprisoned blogger Mohammad Reza Pourshajari is not fit to serve his sentence, but he remains in prison after two heart attacks, his daughter told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “If authorities don’t grant my father furlough for his open heart surgery, they will have to be accountable for whatever happens to him,” Mitra Pourshajari said.
Blogger Mohammad Reza Pourshajari was arrested at his home on September 12, 2010. He was put on trial at Branch 109 of Alborz Province Courts under Judge Gholam Saraee on charges of “acting against national security” and “insulting Ayatollah Khamenei,” and was sentenced to three years in prison. In December 2011, however, Pourshajari was sentenced to an additional year in prison on a new charge: “blasphemy.” The political prisoner was moved from Rajaee Shahr Prison to Ghezel Hessar Prison without any explanation. According to Mitra Pourshajari, despite the two convictions, her father’s case remains open and the judge in his case has stated that the Intelligence Ministry has requested and obtained access to the case for further research. Mitra Pourshajari fears new charges and sentences will be forthcoming.
“After my father’s heart attack last October, it became clear that two of his arteries are completely blocked. Prison physicians have confirmed that my father is not physically fit to endure his prison term, but, unfortunately, in six months no actions have been taken to transfer him to a hospital. My father also suffers from an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, and disc problems,” Mitra Pourshajari told the Campaign.
Mitra Pourshajari expressed concern about Ghezel Hessar Prison’s general lack of hygiene and her father’s condition inside that facility. She asked the Iranian judicial authorities to “release my father and quickly do something for his treatment, because my father has had two heart attacks and it’s not possible to predict whether he can survive another heart attack, considering his 85% blocked arteries. My father’s heart condition is a product of his prison term. He did not have any problems before going to prison. The authorities are responsible if something should happen to him.”