Iran: Release Narges Mohammadi for Medical Treatment Immediately
Rights Activist Remains in Prison with Dangerous Post-Op Infection
Husband Reports Mohammadi Is Being Denied Antibiotics
June 7, 2019 – The Iranian authorities must immediately transfer prominent human rights activist Narges Mohammadi to a hospital for full and proper medical care, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today.
CHRI is deeply concerned by reports that the imprisoned rights defender was returned to prison following a hysterectomy against doctors’ orders and is now being denied antibiotics for a post-operative infection.
“Narges Mohammadi was jailed for peacefully advocating for the rights of others,” said CHRI’s Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi. “She shouldn’t be behind bars, let alone trying to fend off a serious infection from inside prison.”
CHRI calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately allow Mohammadi access to unrestricted medical treatment including antibiotics, allow her to go on medical furlough so that she can fully recover in a hospital or her home, and inform her husband of her medical condition as well as allow him to speak to her directly.
Mohammadi’s husband, Taghi Rahmani, told CHRI on June 7, 2019, that after she underwent a hysterectomy in May, doctors advised her that the risk of post-operative infection was high and that she should remain in the hospital or her home for one month to lessen the chances.
But the authorities returned Mohammadi to the prison after one week.
As of June 2, the last time Rahmani had news of her, she had also not been given the last four doses of her post-op antibiotics, he added.
Rahmani also told CHRI that Mohammadi and her family waited for a year after requesting the medically recommended operation until the authorities finally gave their permission.
As of June 7, Rahmani had not heard from Mohammadi and was seriously worried about her condition.
Rahmani and their two children, Ali and Kiana, live in exile in France and maintain phone contact with Mohammadi when the authorities are not blocking it as a punitive measure against the rights activist and her family.
On June 4, 2019, Taghi Rahmani tweeted: “Ali and Kiana waited for Narges’ phone call yesterday but it didn’t happen. Why? We haven’t heard any news about her medical condition since she got infected after the operation.”
On June 1, Rahmani had tweeted: “Narges Mohammadi got an infection after the operation and so far has not been given any antibiotics. Why? The doctors said she needs to go on medical leave for a month to undergo treatment but was instead returned to prison.”
Political prisoners in Iran, including elderly inmates, are singled out for harsh treatment, which often includes denial of medical care. The threat of withheld medical care has also been used as an intimidation tool against prisoners who have challenged the authorities or filed complaints.
In January 2019, Mohammadi and fellow inmate Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe launched a public appeal to urge the authorities to allow them to access medical treatment.
For engaging in peaceful activism, Mohammadi has been serving a 16-year prison sentence since 2015 for the charges of “membership in the [now banned] Defenders of Human Rights Center,” “assembly and collusion against national security,” and one year for “propaganda against the state.” She will be eligible for release after serving 10 years.
“Iran’s judiciary is responsible for her well-being and medical care,” said Ghaemi. “The international community should demand that she receives immediate and proper treatment.”