October 22, 2015

Help Elderly Prisoner Receive Medical Care (Iran: UA 233/15)

Kamal Foroughi, a 77-year-old British-Iranian man jailed in Tehran’s Evin Prison, has developed cataracts in both his eyes.

Kamal Foroughi, a 77-year-old British-Iranian man jailed in Tehran’s Evin Prison, has developed cataracts in both his eyes. He may be at risk of losing his eyesight unless he is given access to adequate specialized medical treatment, including cataract surgery.
British-Iranian national Kamal Foroughi, 77, has developed cataracts in both his eyes. Around 1 September, Kamal Foroughi was taken to the clinic in Tehran’s Evin Prison, where he was examined by a specialist eye doctor brought in from outside the prison. The doctor told him that he would urgently need cataract surgery on both eyes in a hospital outside prison. Amnesty International understands that both Kamal Foroughi and his lawyer are seeking a follow-up appointment with the specialist doctor and a date for surgery. Kamal Foroughi suffers from various other medical conditions and, since his imprisonment, has complained of memory loss and back pain. Prior to his arrest in May 2011, his doctors told him that he was at increased risk of prostate cancer and would therefore need regular specialized medical check-ups and tests, including cancer screening. Despite this, he was only transferred to a hospital for a standard medical check-up in November 2015; neither he nor his family were given any information about the nature or outcome of the tests. In December 2015, he had a meeting with doctors from the Legal Medical Organization (a state forensic institute), after which he was told that his health was fine. In May 2016, he received a second standard medical check-up. This time, the authorities provided Kamal Foroughi and his family with information about the nature and outcome of some of the medical tests, which apparently yielded normal results. However, the tests taken did not include any specific cancer-screening tests. The authorities have refused Kamal Foroughi’s repeated requests to be released or granted leave on medical grounds.
Kamal Foroughi was arrested on 5 May 2011 by men in plain clothes who apparently did not show an arrest warrant or explain the reasons for his arrest. They took him to Evin Prison where he was held for the first 18 months in solitary confinement. He was only allowed to meet his lawyer once before the start of his trial, which was held in early 2013. He was told later in 2013 that he had been convicted of espionage and “possession of alcoholic beverages”, for which he was sentenced to seven years and one year in prison respectively. He has intermittent access, via visits and phone calls, to his lawyer. The authorities have not allowed him British consular assistance.
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Calling on the Iranian authorities to ensure that Kamal Foroughi receives any specialized medical care he needs outside prison, and reminding them that depriving him of essential medical care could amount to torture or other ill-treatment;
  • Urging the authorities to apply, without discrimination, Article 58 of the Islamic Penal Code which allows for the conditional release of prisoners after serving one third of their sentence;
  • Urging them to ensure that he has regular access to a lawyer of his choice and to his family, including facilities to communicate with those living abroad; and requesting them to allow him access to British consular officials.
Contact below official by 25 October, 2016:
Office of the Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei 
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor 
New York, NY 10017
Salutation: Your Excellency
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