Farhad Meysami’s “Life Is In Danger” Two Months Into Debilitating Hunger Strike
“He has been tied to the bed and injected with serum.”
Imprisoned rights activist Reza Khandan has warned Iranian authorities that another fellow political prisoner could die if he is not allowed immediate medical care outside Evin Prison in Tehran.
“It has been more than 75 days since Dr. Meysami started this difficult and alarming hunger strike,” said the letter, a copy of which was sent to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). “It has been close to three weeks since he was forcefully taken from a public ward to the prison’s clinic.”
He continued: “The prison’s authorities have apparently been ordered by the prosecutor and the clinic’s director, to turn the clinic from a professional and ethical medical center under the supervision of the Health Ministry into a security jail where the rooms are used as cells for solitary confinement.”
Meysami was 165 pounds (75 kilograms) two months ago before he was imprisoned for peacefully advocating for women’s rights and is now 125 pounds (57 kilograms), a source with detailed knowledge of the case told CHRI.
“Currently, Farhad Meysami is being held in one of those rooms under strict security measures,” he added. “It is said he is being inhumanly treated. He has become very weak. On many occasions, against his wishes, and without the presence of his lawyer or family members, he has been tied to the bed and injected with serum.”
“Judiciary and Health Ministry officials, as well as the President [Hassan Rouhani] himself, who has pledged to defend the rights of the people, are responsible for his health,” added Khandan.
“In addition, the doctor or doctors who are violating ethical and humanitarian principles by doing things against the wishes of the patient must be prosecuted,” he said.
A 48-year-old physician, Meysami has had limited access to his lawyer since being taken to Evin Prison and was only allowed to retain one more than a month after he was arrested. Previously, he was told that he would have to choose his lawyer from a list hand-picked by the head of Iran’s judiciary.
Meysami is demanding full due process and for the “false” charges against him to be dropped, for security officials to stop harassing his family members, and the release of Khandan, who has been in detention since September 4, 2018, for publicly condemning the arrest of his wife, prominent human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been detained since June 2018.
Meysami was arrested by agents of the Intelligence Ministry on July 31, 2018, for allegedly having badges in his home that said, “I am against compulsory hijab.”
He has been charged with “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” and is awaiting trial.