July 12, 2019
Eight human right experts at the United Nations have voiced “serious concern” over Iran’s detention of rights activists and of continuing to deny medical treatment to those detainees in what amounts to a consistent pattern.
“Over several months we have communicated to the Iranian government our deep concern about the physical and mental integrity of detainees,” the experts said in a statement released in New York on Thursday.
They added that despite government assurances, “we are frustrated to still receive reports of denial of medical treatment including in life-threatening situations.”
The experts listed the case of human rights activist Arash Sadeghi, reportedly diagnosed with bone cancer and who has been denied care at the Raja’I Shahr Prison following an operation in September 2018.
Sadeghi received a 15 year prison sentence in August 2015 on charges of “assembly and collusion in the form of propaganda against the state.”
The UN experts also pointed to their grave concern for Ahmadreza Djalali, a Swedish-Iranian medical doctor, sentenced to death on corruption charges for allegedly spying in Iran.
They said although tests indicate Djalali may have cancer, the doctor has been denied access to appropriate healthcare in the Evin Prison, where Austrian-Iranian dual national Kamran Ghaderi, who is serving a 10-year sentence for espionage and despite tumor in his leg, has also been denied appropriate medical treatment.
The list of experts who issued the statement included Dainius Puras, Special Rapporteur on the situation of the right to health, Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Jose Antionio Fuevara Bermudez, Chari-Rapporteur, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Fion nuala Ni Aolain, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Nils Melzer Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Curel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.