Political Prisoner Atena Daemi’s Health Worsens Four Weeks Into Hunger Strike Without Proper Care
She has also been denied proper medical care in Evin Prison in Tehran, her mother, Masoumeh Nemati, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“Since last week (Daemi) has been experiencing severe blood pressure fluctuations, nausea, vomiting and stomach pains, but her frequent visits to the prison clinic have not made her any better,” Nemati told CHRI on April 30, 2017.
“One day Atena went to the prison clinic and there was only a male nurse there,” she said. “The nurse called the doctor on the phone and explained Atena’s problem. The doctor ordered an electrocardiogram (ECG), but the nurse refused because he said it was (religiously) forbidden to touch a woman.”
“Instead, he told Atena where to attach the sensors on her body,” she added. “The result was registered, but she can’t be sure if it was done correctly or not.”
Continued Nemati: “Every time Atena’s father went to the prosecutor’s office, the authorities insisted that she was being looked after and was fine. Finally, Atena confronted the director of the prison clinic and asked him why he was lying and giving false reports about her health. The director told my daughter he had no proof she was sick and said she was lying.”
“But in fact she has been suffering from a kidney infection for months, even before she went on a hunger strike, but the clinic did not report this to the prosecutor’s office,” said Nemati. “The clinic reports whatever it likes.”
Atena Daemi, 29, went on hunger strike on April 8 to protest the 91-day prison sentences issued to her and her two sisters for allegedly “insulting” Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) agents and resisting arrest. Her sisters’ sentences have been suspended.
Daemi and her sisters, Onsieh and Hanieh, were sentenced after Daemi complained about the IRGC agents’ use of “excessive force” when they violently arrested her at her home while transporting her to Evin Prison on November 26, 2016.
In March 2017, Daemi and her sisters were convicted of “resisting agents carrying out their duty” and “insulting agents while on duty.”
Daemi’s sentence was added to the seven-year prison sentence she is currently serving for meeting the families of political prisoners, criticizing the Islamic Republic on Facebook, and condemning the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988.
“I would rather die than be a slave to tyranny,” wrote Daemi in April 2017 in a letter to judicial authorities announcing her hunger strike against the sentences issued to her and her sisters.
“I will not let the security agencies trample their own laws and abuse our families as a means of psychological torture to create a climate of fear,” she said.
The judiciary has not investigated Daemi’s complaint about the IRGC’s use of excessive force.
After visiting her daughter in prison on April 16, Nemati wrote a letter calling on the world to pay attention to her daughter’s plight.
“The authorities are not paying any attention (to Atena’s hunger strike),” she wrote. “They are very busy with election slogans (before the May 19 elections) and can’t hear the voice of her worried mother or sad father.”
“So, I am turning to the world, international organizations, defenders of children and human rights and all the media to be the voice of my Atena,” she said.