Urgent Action Update: Jailed Academic Needs Urgent Medical Care (Iran: UA 38.17)

Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali needs urgent specialized medical care unavailable inside prison. The Iranian authorities previously conditioned his transfer to a hospital outside of prison on being shackled, which would amount to degrading treatment. He was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial, which used “confessions” Ahmadreza Djalali has said were obtained under torture.



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Prosecutor General of Tehran Ali Alghasi Mehr
Office of the Prosecutor
Corner (Nabsh-e) of 15 Khordad Square
Tehran, Iran
H.E. Gholamali Khoshroo
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212 687-2020 I Fax: 212 867 7086
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Iran_UN
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Mr Ali Alghasi Mehr,

Medical doctor and academic Ahmadreza Djalali, imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin prison, is being denied the urgent specialized medical care he needs. In the last year, three different blood tests indicated that he has a low white blood cell count. A doctor who examined him in prison in early 2019 said that Ahmadreza Djalali must be seen by doctors specialized in hematology and oncology in a hospital outside of prison. To date, the authorities have not taken Ahmadreza Djalali to hospital for the medical care he requires. Since his arrest on 26 April 2016, he has lost 24 kg and now weighs 51 kg.

On two occasions, most recently in February 2019, Ahmadreza Djalali was scheduled to be transferred to a hospital outside of prison to see a specialist, but, on the day of the transfer, he was told that the transfer was conditioned on him being shackled and wearing a prison uniform. He protested against these degrading conditions and, in reprisal, the authorities cancelled the transfer. Amnesty International considers that the conditions imposed on Ahmadreza Djalali’s transfer to the hospital were unnecessary and excessive, and deliberately designed to humiliate and punish him. This treatment violates the absolute prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments under international law; Iranian authorities have an obligation to treat prisoners respectfully in accordance with their inherent dignity as human beings.

In November 2018, Ahmadreza Djalali underwent hernia surgery in a hospital outside prison, after being in severe pain. After surgery, his legs were unnecessarily shackled to the hospital bed, which caused him emotional distress as well as physical discomfort. The authorities transferred him back to prison less than two days later, despite medical advice that he should remain hospitalized for longer. In February 2019, a prison doctor told him that he required a follow-up procedure to treat his hernia, but this has not taken place yet.

I urge you to immediately grant Ahmadreza Djalali the specialized medical care he needs outside prison and stop using the denial of timely and adequate medical care as a form of additional punishment. I further call on you to release Ahmadreza Djalali immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation, as per the recommendation of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in his case.

Yours sincerely,