On Monday, August 13, the prominent human rights lawyer Narges Mohammadi, who is serving a 16-year prison sentence, was transferred from Evin Prison to a hospital due to severe kidney pain, her husband Taghi Rahmani has told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“She was first taken to the prison clinic but she was in so much pain that she was given permission to be dispatched to a hospital and as far as I know, the doctors are checking her gallbladder and kidney stones,” said Rahmani, who now lives in exile in France. “I don’t know if she needs to be operated on or how long she will remain hospitalized.”
According to the Defenders of Human Rights Center, last month when Mohammadi underwent gallbladder surgery, the doctors discovered a tumor in her digestive tract [Persian link]. They wanted to immediately carry out the necessary tests but prison officials had her moved from the hospital to back prison without giving the doctors a chance to perform tests or to treat her.
After returning to prison, Mohammadi constantly suffered from nausea and lost six kilograms in weight, but the prison officials ignored her doctors’ request to transfer her to the hospital. On the night of Sunday August 12 she came down with convulsions, a symptom of an ongoing epilepsy-like ailment that she first developed while incarcerated in 2009, which worsened when she was imprisoned in Zanjan in 2010 and has continued to affect her since then. At last, on Monday the Medical Examiner’s office approved her transfer and she was sent to the hospital.
In early summer 2016, Narges Mohammadi was diagnosed with gallstones and her doctor ordered surgery. It was not, however, until last month, after 24 hours of excruciating pain, that she was hospitalized for surgery. But two days after the procedure, the prosecutor ordered her transfer back to prison before the doctors could finish treatment.
During the last four weeks Mohammadi has been nauseous and vomited often. She was sent to the clinic at Evin Prison, where the doctor there wanted her to be transferred to an outside hospital. However, prison officials and the prosecutor’s deputy refused to allow it. At 4am on Monday morning, she was at last transferred to the prison clinic after experiencing severe respiratory problems. However, she did not receive any treatment while at the clinic and it was many hours before she was dispatched to the hospital, despite the fact that the oxygen equipment at the clinic was broken.
The series of events appears to be another example of the judiciary’s policy to intimidate and pressure prisoners of conscious by denying them prompt and vital medical care.
Narges Mohammadi was previously incarcerated in 2009 and was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security,” “membership to the Defenders of Human Rights Center” and “propaganda against the regime.” On appeal, her sentence was reduced to six years behind bars and she was released in 2013 on medical grounds. Authorities summoned her back to prison in 2015, and in May 2016, Judge Abolghasem Salavati sentenced her to 16 years in prison, and the verdict was upheld later that year.
More on Narges Mohammadi and her fight for human rights in Iran:
Narges Mohammadi Awarded Sakharov Prize, April 16, 2018
Iran’s Judiciary is Slowly Murdering Prisoners of Conscience, November 10, 2017
50 Iranian Women you Should Know: Narges Mohammadi, August 27, 2015
Semi-Conscious Narges Mohammadi Moved From Hospital to Prison, August 7, 2015
Intelligence Ministry Holds Keys to Narges Mohammadi’s Cell, June 17, 2015
Activists Demand Release of Narges Mohammadi, May 27, 2015
Security Forces Arrest Narges Mohammadi, May 6, 2015