Iran: Political prisoner threatened by denying medical treatment and visitation rights

Iran: Political prisoner threatened by denying medical treatment and visitation rights

Published by on November 28, 2016

maryam-abari-monfared-2Political prisoner Maryam Akbari-Monfared has been threatened with the revocation of her visitation rights and denied medical treatment in Evin Prison’s Women’s Ward for requesting an official inquiry into the execution of her siblings in the 1980s.

 
In a letter addressed to Iran’s Judiciary, a copy of which was emailed on November 11, 2016 to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, she wrote: “I received your message through my husband. Nothing can scare someone like me. You have left me nothing, so you cannot threaten me with anything. Have you no shame? You threaten an imprisoned mother with banning visits by her daughters? A mother who doesn’t even know what her daughters’ favourite colours are? Their favourite food? Their favourite game?”

 
“Considering the crimes I have seen and heard in Evin, Gohardasht and Varamin prisons during these past seven years, I am the one in the position to make threats, not you,” she added.

 
“For a mother like me who left her kids at a young age to go to prison, it makes no difference any more if I go home in 15 years or 25 years or never at all. My most important goal now is to avenge the blood of my sister and brothers who were executed despite being innocent,” she wrote.

 
Akbari-Monfared’s scheduled medical appointment outside the prison was also cancelled.“Iranian officials are refusing to take prisoner of conscience Maryam Akbari-Monfared to her scheduled medical appointments outside prison in order to receive treatment for her rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid problems,” reported Amnesty International on November 3, 2016. “The Associate Prosecutor of Evin Prison told her family on 24 October that her medical care arrangements have been cancelled because she has become too ‘brazen’.”

 
Political prisoners in Iran are singled out for particularly harsh treatment, including the denial of medical care.

 
Akbari-Monfared is currently serving the seventh year of a 15-year prison sentence for “waging war against God” through her alleged connection to the banned Mojahedin-e Khalgh organization (MEK, also known as PMOI). Last month she called for a judicial inquiry to investigate the execution of her siblings and the location where they were buried.

 
“The family has never been told where they were buried. I am requesting clarification on how they died and where they were put to rest,” she wrote in an open letter dated October 16, 2016.

 
“Three of my brothers and one of my sisters were executed in prison in the 1980s,” continued the letter. “My youngest brother, Abdolreza Akbari-Monfared, was executed in 1980. He was only a 17-year-old high school student when he was arrested. He was charged with distributing MEK literature. Although he was sentenced to only three years in prison, he was incarcerated until his execution in the summer of 1988 along with scores of other prisoners.”

 
“Another brother, Alireza Akbari-Monfared, was arrested on September 8, 1981 and he was tried and executed ten days later. On the seventh night of mourning for my brother Alireza, agents raided our house and arrested a number of guests as well as my mother, and sister Roghieh Akbari-Monfared. My mother was released after five months but my sister was sentenced to eight years in prison. She was executed in August 1988 near the end of her prison term. My other brother, Gholamreza Akbari-Monfared, was arrested in 1983 and died.


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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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