Authorities Prevent Hospitalization of Imprisoned Rights Lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani
Imprisoned human rights defender Abdolfattah Soltani is in critical condition because prison authorities have been denying him needed medical care for the past several months, according to his daughter.
Soltani’s daughter, Maedeh Soltani, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that her father, who is serving his 13-year sentence inside Evin Prison, has lost 4 kilograms (9 pounds) in one month. The prominent lawyer has also been denied furlough for the past three years. “On several occasions, my mother made medical appointments for my father and the Prosecutor even agreed with it, but after the administrative steps for my father’s transfer from prison to hospital were arranged, each time they refused to bring my father to the hospital for unknown reasons,” she told the Campaign.
Soltani was hospitalized two years ago, but was transferred back to prison before his treatment was complete. “My mother tried hard to get permission for my father’s release on furlough for the [Iranian] new year [March 21-April 2, 2014], but it didn’t happen. The [judicial] authorities told my mother one day to bring the bail collateral for his furlough. The next day they told her the collateral’s value was too low, and ultimately they told her that the Prosecutor opposes his furlough,” Soltani’s daughter told the Campaign. Maedeh asked the Iranian judicial authorities for a retrial of her father without the interference of intelligence agents, and to respect his rights for access to medical care as a prisoner.
A leading human rights lawyer, Soltani was arrested on September 10, 2011. On January 8, 2012, Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Pirabbasi sentenced him to 18 years in prison, to be served in exile at Borazjan prison, and 20 years’ ban on practicing law. He was prosecuted on charges of “being awarded the  Nuremberg International Human Rights Award,” “interviewing with media about his clients’ cases,” and “co-founding the Defenders of Human Rights Center.” Soltani spent months inside solitary cells of the Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209 at Evin Prison, where he developed severe anemia. In June 2012, an appeals court reduced his prison sentence to 13 years. He remains imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin prison and has not been transferred to Borazjan prison.