January 22, 2016

Urgent Action Update: Jailed Filmmaker Needs Urgent Medical Care (Iran: UA 19/16)


Jailed Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi is in urgent need of specialized medical care. After multiple episodes of coughing up blood, doctors at Tehran’s Evin prison have said that he has bronchitis and a lung infection, and needs immediate medical treatment outside prison. Despite this, prison authorities have refused to transfer him to hospital.
Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi, who has been jailed since 23 November 2016, has been taken to the clinic in Tehran’s Evin prison several times in the past month after coughing up blood. The clinic doctors have diagnosed him with bronchitis and an acute lung infection and have advised that he be urgently transferred to a hospital outside prison to receive specialized medical care. However, Evin prison authorities have so far refused to authorize the transfer. Keywan Karimi is currently only receiving sedatives. He also suffers from a pre-existing bone condition called aneurysmal bone cyst (blood-filled fibrous cysts that expand the bone and can cause pain, swelling and fractures), for which he needs specialized medical care. Around 10 years ago, he had surgery to remove a cyst in his shin bone, and his doctors have said that he requires ongoing monitoring in case further surgery is needed.
Keywan Karimi, a member of Iran’s Kurdish minority, was arrested on 14 December 2013 and held for 12 days in solitary confinement in Section 2-A of Evin prison, without access to a lawyer, before being released on bail on 26 December 2013. On 13 October 2015, following an unfair trial before a Revolutionary Court in Tehran, the Iranian capital, he was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for “insulting Islamic sanctities” and 223 lashes for “illicit relations falling short of adultery”. The former charge was imposed in connection with a music video the authorities had found on his hard drive; the latter for “shaking hands” and “being under one roof” with a female friend and poet “who had not covered her head and neck”. An appeal court upheld Keywan Karimi’s flogging sentence and ruled that he must serve one year of his six-year prison sentence. The remaining five years were suspended, conditional on his “good behaviour”.
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Keywan Karimi, as he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and association;
  • Urging them to ensure that, pending his release, he is granted immediate access to specialized medical care outside prison, the denial of which could amount to torture or other ill-treatment;
  • Calling on them to allow him regular access to his family and lawyer of his own choosing;
  • Urging them to abolish flogging sentences, as they constitute a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under international law.

Contact below official by 8 May, 2017:

Associate Prosecutor
Office of the Prosecutor
Evin Prison
Dasht-e Behesht
District 2, Tehran,
Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
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
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Salutation: Your Excellency
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