Published on Friday 12 September 2014.
They began a hunger strike on 31 August in protest against prison conditions
Reporters Without Borders is very worried about
the many journalists and netizens who continue to be detained despite
suffering serious ailments, and condemns the lack of adequate medical
treatment in the prisons where they are held.
There is currently a great deal of concern about the
physical condition of a group of detained contributors to the Sufi news
website Majzooban Noor who began a hunger strike on 31 August in protest against their prison conditions.
“As photos of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei undergoing
surgery in a modern Tehran hospital go round the world, detained
journalists and netizens are being denied treatment in Iran’s prisons,” said Reza Moini, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Iran-Afghanistan desk.
“Their lives are in danger amid complete silence and
indifference. The regime has a duty to respect its detainees’ right to
health. Any violation of this fundamental principle will be regarded as a
criminal failure to assist persons in danger.”
The Majzooban Noor contributors who began a hunger strike on 31 August are Reza Entesari, Hamidreza Moradi, Mostafa Abdi, Kasra Nouri and Afshin Karampour. Their jailed lawyers, Amir Islami, Farshid Yadollahi, Mostafa Daneshjo and Omid Behrouzi, have joined the hunger strike.
Majzooban Noor is a news website that supports the Nematollahi Gonabadi order of Sufism.
The journalists and netizens working for Majzooban Noor
were arrested during a government offensive against Sufis on 8-10
September 2011 and were sentenced on 13 July 2013, at the end of an
unfair trial before a Tehran court, to jail terms ranging from six month
to eight years.
Since then, they have been held in Tehran’s Evin prison or in Nezam prison in Shiraz, in the southeastern province of Fars.
Several of them, especially Entesari, Daneshjo, Moradi
and Karampour, have been critically ill in their cells but have been
refused the treatment they badly need because the prison and judicial
authorities rarely authorize transfers to hospitals.
Reporters Without Borders points out that:
- According to the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party, denying medical care can
constitute a violation of the ban on torture and cruel, inhuman or
- The internal regulations of Iran’s prisons, issued
by the judicial body in charge of managing detention centres, require
prison officials to provide detainees with the medical care they need.
Articles 102 and 103 of the regulations say that “monthly medical checks
are obligatory in the prison clinic” and that “if necessary, the
detainee must be transferred urgently from the prison to the hospital.”
These regulations also say that the judge in charge of the case is
responsible for the health and safety of any prisoner with a serious and