Iran: postgraduate student denied furlough, medical treatment


Iranian postgraduate student Hamid Babaei is being denied furlough after being five years in prison.
But just as he was waiting to be released from Rajaee Shahr Prison to join his family outside, he was told he had been convicted on another case and had to stay in prison for one more year.
Babaei’s family, received a phone call from prosecutor’s office on June 14, informing them that his leave is endorsed. They however canceled the permission to furlough a half an hour later in another contact with the family.
Babaei has currently been suffering from Pain in the chest, the authorities however have denied him medical treatment outside the prison and told him he will only be transferred to hospital in case of health deterioration.
Hamid Babaei was sentenced in December 2013 to six years’ imprisonment on the charge of “acting against national security by communicating with hostile governments [Belgium]” following a trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The trial lasted only 10 minutes and failed to comply with international fair trial standards. The charge evidently relates to his refusal to comply with a request by the Ministry of Intelligence to monitor and spy on Iranian students studying in Belgium, where he had been pursuing his postgraduate studies. The scholarship and funds he received from Belgium’s University of Liege as a postgraduate student were used as “evidence” of his alleged work for “hostile governments.” Following his arrest, Hamid Babaei was held and interrogated without any legal representation for over a month at Tehran’s Evin Prison. He was later assigned a state-appointed lawyer by the court. At no point was he allowed to have an independent lawyer of his choice.

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