February 23, 2016

Urgent Action Update: Gravely Ill Musician Returned To Prison (Iran: UA 41/16)

Iranian musician Mehdi Rajabian was forced to return to Tehran’s Evin Prison on 4 December. He had been on medical leave following his month-long hunger strike. He was hospitalized during his leave and Amnesty International fears for his health. His brother Hossein Rabajian, a filmmaker, is on hunger strike. They are prisoners of conscience.
Iranian musician Mehdi Rajabian was forced to return to Evin Prison on 4 December, despite being in poor physical and mental health. He had been granted medical leave on 27 November and was hospitalized during most of his leave in Bu Ali Hospital in his home city of Sari, Mazandaran Province, north of Tehran. He has several medical conditions, for which he needs medication and specialized medical care. Following a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan prior to his imprisonment, a neurology specialist told Mehdi Rajabian that he appeared to be developing multiple sclerosis (MS) and needed further diagnostic tests. For the first two months in detention he was denied medication that his doctor said is essential to delay the onset of MS symptoms. He also suffers from seizures, which he has said began following beatings inflicted on him by security officials after his arrest in October 2013. Amnesty International understands that the effect of being imprisoned and of being denied adequate medical care in prison has gravely affected Mehdi Rajabian’s mental health and his spirits are very low.
Prior to his medical leave, Mehdi Rajabian and his brother Hossein Rajabian, a jailed filmmaker who is also in poor health, went on hunger strike on 28 October to demand their freedom. This had followed an earlier hunger strike by the brothers in September in protest at the authorities’ refusal to allow them both adequate medical care or medical leave, and their decision to separate the brothers by holding them in different sections of Evin Prison. Amnesty International understands that Hossein Rajabian remains on hunger strike.
Mehdi Rajabian and Hossein Rajabian were sentenced to six years’ imprisonment following a grossly unfair trial in April 2015 in which they were convicted of charges, including “insulting Islamic sanctities” and “illegal audio-visual activities”, in relation to their artistic work. A court of appeal later ruled that they must serve three years of their six-year prison sentences. The court suspended the rest of the sentences for a period of five years, conditional on their “good behaviour”. They began serving their sentences on 4 June and are prisoners of conscience.
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mehdi Rajabian and Hossein Rajabian, as they are prisoners of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression;
  • Urging them to ensure that they have access to a qualified health professional who can provide health care in compliance with medical ethics, including the principles of confidentiality, autonomy and informed consent;
  • Urging them to order a prompt, independent, impartial investigation into their allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, bringing to justice anyone suspected of responsibility in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty.

Contact below official by 17 January, 2017:

Office of the Supreme Leader
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Fax: (212) 867-7086 I Phone: (212) 687-2020 I Email: [email protected]
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Salutation: Your Excellency
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