An Iranian inmate peers from behind a wall as a guard walks by at the female section of the infamous Evin jail, north of Tehran on June 13, 2006
An Iranian inmate peers from behind a wall as a guard walks by at the female section of the infamous Evin jail, north of Tehran on June 13, 2006 © Atta Kenare - AFP/File
An Iranian inmate peers from behind a wall as a guard walks by at the female section of the infamous Evin jail, north of Tehran on June 13, 2006
AFP
Last updated: April 10, 2014

UN experts urge Iran to give political prisoners medical care

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United Nations human rights experts called Thursday on Iran to provide urgent medical care to two political prisoners, warning the seriously ill men risked dying in detention.

The UN's special rapporteur on the rights situation in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, and other experts voiced alarm at Tehran's alleged denial of medical care for blogger Mohammad Reza Pourshajari and religious cleric Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi.

"We are gravely concerned about the worsening health condition of Mr. Pourshajari and Mr. Boroujerdi, who require urgent access to specialist medical treatment outside prison," the experts said in a statement.

"The prison authorities have so far denied this fundamental right, despite prison physicians recommending such urgent care," they added, warning the two men risked "dying in detention."

The statement said Pourshajari, who was arrested in 2010 for his blogging activities under the alias Siamak Mehr, is serving a four-year sentence in Ghezal Hesar prison in Karaj.

He has suffered a heart attack, has prostate disease, kidney stones, high sugar level, breathing problems and high blood pressure, according to the statement.

Boroujerdi, who was arrested in 2006 and is serving an 11-year-sentence, currently at Evin Prison in Tehran, meanwhile suffers from Parkinson's disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing and walking problems, kidney stones and a heart condition, it said.

Shaheed, along with the UN experts on torture and the right to health, freedom of expression and freedom of religion, warned that the two men's health had deteriorated due to "physical abuse, poor prison conditions, prolonged solitary confinement and other forms of repeated torture and ill-treatment."

They stressed that the two "were imprisoned for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression," insisting that "they should not only receive urgent medical treatment but also be released."

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