Activist’s Health Worsens in Prison As She Awaits Appeal Hearing
A prolonged delay in hearing children’s rights activist Atena Daemi’s appeal against her 14-year prison sentence is causing a serious deterioration in her health, particularly as she has not been able to leave prison for the past eight months to receive specialized medical treatment.
Daemi’s mother, Massoumeh Nemati, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that prison conditions were causing her daughter to have severe headaches and weakening vision.
Earlier, Daemi’s mother reported that the doctor at Evin Prison had determined the imprisoned activist was displaying symptoms of multiple sclerosis and recommended she be seen immediately by a neurologist.
“We and Atena’s lawyer have made many requests to get her out on bail but every time it has been refused. Judiciary officials say they are afraid she’ll escape [the country],” Nemati said.
Prison authorities in Iran routinely deny proper medical treatment to political prisoners. Even though Daemi was sentenced on May 10, 2015, no date has yet been set for the Appeals Court to consider her case and she continues to remain in prison.
“She’s only 27 years old. How long should she stay in prison? Prison is not where she belongs. She has never been a political activist. She has never been a member of any political group. She doesn’t even understand the first thing about politics,” Daemi’s mother said.
Atena Daemi, a children’s rights activist and death penalty opponent, was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization on October 21, 2014. Judge Moghisseh of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court condemned her to 14 years in prison – the maximum possible sentence for all the charges combined, which included “acting against the state” (7 years) and “insulting the Supreme Leader.”
Four other young civil activists are co-defendants with Daemi. They are Omid Alishenas, Aso Rostami, Ali Nouri, and Atena Faraghdani. The Campaign has learned that Omid Alishenas is also awaiting a date for his Appeals Court hearing. Atena Faraghdani’s appeal was heard on December 20, 2015, but no verdict has yet been issued.