On September 26, Nasrin Sotoudeh, with her health deteriorating, broke her hunger strike, which had been ongoing since August 11 in defence of Iran’s political prisoners
“Given her grave physical and cardiac ailments, the doctors outside the hospital who were able to review information about her documents and tests consider her transfer back to prison as a deliberate attempt to put her life in danger.” Reza Khandan
On September 26, Nasrin Sotoudeh, with her health deteriorating, broke her hunger strike, which had been ongoing since August 11 in defence of Iran’s political prisoners.
Concern regarding the deterioration in her health led to her hospitalisation by the Iranian regime on September 19, “but [she] was returned to prison, despite concerning cardiac issues and an international outcry, on September 23.” (CHRI)
Nasrin Sotoudeh, is the Iranian human rights lawyer currently serving 38 years in prison for “constantly and courageously standing up to and challenging the Islamic Republic of Iran”. (Global Rights)
Her recent confrontation with the authoritarian “regime of the mullahs” came as a result of her demanding the release of political prisoners threatened by the COVID-19 virus, which has been spreading in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.
Now some weeks later, on October 13, her husband, Reza Khandan, has released a statement of grave concern as to the health and treatment of his wife.
“Reza Khandan, relayed her “grave cardiac and pulmonary problems” that were due to delays in medical treatment, and her exposure to COVID-19 during her recent brief hospitalization.” (CHRI)
Resa Khandan also stressed that that “doctors outside the hospital who reviewed her tests consider her transfer back to prison as “a deliberate attempt to put her life in danger.”
“Nasrin Sotoudeh’s life is in danger because the authorities in Iran are withholding proper medical treatment, in complete violation of Iranian and international law; this is tantamount to attempted murder,” Hadi Ghaemi, the Centre for Human Rights in Iran’s executive director, said.
The Centre posted the full transcript of Reza Khandan’s statement on October 13, 2020:
“40 days after Nasrin’s hunger strike, following multiple warnings by prison doctors expressing concern over her condition, after considerable delay, she was finally transferred to the hospital. Her grave cardiac and pulmonary problems may well have been due to this delay in medical treatment and supervision.
“20 days have now passed since she was transferred back to Evin prison from the hospital. As she has related, the prison doctors were shocked that she was returned to the prison with such haste and without proper medical treatment, especially considering her continued hunger strike. One of the prison doctors strongly protested against her being returned to prison in such conditions. Her heart monitor recorded significant changes that were proof of the grave cardiac deterioration. At the hospital, she was immediately transferred to the ICU, where following additional cardiac tests, the medical board had confirmed that she needs an angiography procedure.
“Now, with the passage of 20 days, she was released back in the ward without any medical supervision. Her difficult, constricted breathing has increased our anxiety about her condition.
“During her days in the hospital, it was evident that her white blood cell count was extremely low, thereby she had a weakened immune system. Later, it has become clear that at least six of the prison guards in charge of her at the hospital had contracted COVID. The female prison guards who were later identified as having COVID were seated on a chair next to her bed day and night.
“Given her grave physical and cardiac ailments, the doctors outside the hospital who were able to review information about her documents and tests consider her transfer back to prison as a deliberate attempt to put her life in danger. Despite her and the family’s requests for a medical leave or transfer to the hospital, the prosecutor has not provided. The judicial system of the Islamic Republic is directly responsible for the health of prisoners in its custody and thus directly responsible for the consequences of any unfortunate incident arising from her transfer to prison and from her exposure to dangerous conditions and lack of medical treatment while in custody.” Reza Khandan
The Iranian regime’s vendetta against the human rights lawyer has been ongoing since Sotoudeh, the mother of two children, was arrested in 2018 on charges of “collusion and propaganda against the system”. In March 2019, she was eventually sentenced to a total of 38 years and six months in prison and 148 lashes.
It is hard to believe with this regime’s policy of total intransigence to all opposition against clerical rule, that there still exists people who cannot be bought off or intimidated into colluding with an inhumane regime whose only authority now appears to be that of the hangman’s rope, the whip or the prison cell.
…And yet everywhere, on a daily basis, regimes like this are constantly being stood up to and told there is a better way.
It behove the rest of us, currently existing in various states of “freedom” in our own countries, to stand up and acknowledge their courage and resistance.
Lest we forget…
Image: By Arash Ashourinia / CC0) via twitter
List of Attorneys Imprisoned in Iran for Defending Human Rights
New Documentary film – ‘NASRIN’
“Secretly filmed in Iran for over two years, is an immersive portrait of human rights activist and political prisoner Nasrin Sotoudeh and Iran’s remarkably resilient women’s rights movement. Nasrin has long fought for the rights of women, children, LGBT prisoners, religious minorities, journalists and artists, and those facing the death penalty. She was arrested in 2018 for representing women who protested Iran’s mandatory hijab law and sentenced to 38 years in prison, plus 148 lashes. Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Olivia Colman and featuring acclaimed filmmaker Jafar Panahi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, journalist Ann Curry, exiled women’s rights activist Mansoureh Shojaee, and Nasrin Sotoudeh.”
Watch Trailer HERE