Hunger-Striking Activist Farhad Meysami Refuses To Be Hospitalized in Shackles
Despite his worsening condition, hunger-striking detainee Farhad Meysami refused to be transferred to a hospital outside Tehran’s Evin Prison unless he would be allowed to go without shackles, his mother told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“Today [September 18, 2018], the authorities finally agreed to transfer my son to the hospital but they wanted to take him in a prison uniform with hand and ankle cuffs,” Sedigheh Pishnamaz said. “Farhad refused to be treated this way.”
“Farhad is not a dangerous prisoner who would want to escape,” she added. “He’s a civil rights activist. Why should he be transferred to the hospital like this?”
Pishnamaz told CHRI her son “has lost a lot of weight” and his blood pressure has plummeted from being on a hunger strike for almost 50 days.
A 48-year-old physician, Meysami was arrested by agents of the Intelligence Ministry on July 31 for peacefully advocating for a woman’s right to choose to wear a hijab.
He stopped eating food on August 1 to protest the judicial process and the charges against him, including “assembly and collusion against national security with the intention to incite women to appear in public with bare heads,” “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the hijab as an indispensable Islamic principle.”
On September 8 he also severely limited liquids.
“I really don’t know where to go for help. Farhad is in critical condition,” Pishnamaz told CHRI. “They have to deliver my son in the same healthy condition he was in before he was taken to prison.”
“How can a country’s judicial system be indifferent to a prisoner’s wellbeing?” she asked. “I’m a mother. Where should I go to complain? My son was a healthy doctor and now he’s wasting away.”