IRAN WATCH CANADA

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

For Immediate Release

Iran: Release and Provide Urgent Medical Care to Jailed Activist
Mohammad Sadigh Kaboudvand May Have Suffered Stroke; Family Claim He is Not Receiving Adequate Health Care

(New York, July 28, 2010) – The Iranian Judiciary should provide urgent medical care to Mohammad Sadigh Kaboudvand and free him from his unfair detention, Human Rights Watch said today. Kaboudvand, a leading advocate of Kurdish rights in Iran, is serving an 11-year sentence on politically motivated charges. He suffered what may have been a stroke on July 15, 2010, and his family says he is not getting the medical attention he needs.

On July 20, Kaboudvand wrote an open letter to the public prosecutor’s office saying that he experienced “brain and neurological problems... that caused loss of consciousness during the afternoon of July 15.” Prison authorities transferred him to the Evin prison clinic, which diagnosed a sharp rise in his blood pressure, but failed to treat him. In his letter, Kaboudvand wrote that since he lost consciousness he has been experiencing “intense light-headedness and neurological issues associated with sensory, motion and sight difficulties.” His lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, told Human Rights Watch that on July 15 she appealed to judiciary officials to allow Kaboudvand access to the medical treatment he needs, but that her request has gone unanswered.

“Kaboudvand needs an immediate and thorough assessment of his worsening condition. Denying a prisoner necessary medical care is both cruel and unlawful,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Iranian authorities are responsible for his well-being and should immediately ensure he can get the medical attention he needs.”

Kaboudvand has suffered two heart attacks since his arrest and detention in July 2007. Information about Kaboudvand’s condition comes on the heels of reports by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and Amnesty International indicating that prison authorities are systematically denying needed medical care to political prisoners.

Link:
For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Iran, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/en/middle-eastn-africa/iran

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Iran’s restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly in the Kurdish regions, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/01/08/iran-freedom-expression-and-association-kurdish-regions

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