Concerns heighten over health of political prisoners in Qarchak Prison
Reports indicate that political prisoner Golrokh Iraee has lost the ability to walk, two months after she started her hunger strike.
According to reports, one side of political prisoner Atena Daemi’s face has also become numb. Their families are seriously concerned about their health in prison.
The two political prisoners were violently transferred from Evin Prison to Varamin’s Qarchak Prison on January 24. Ms. Iraee has been on hunger strike since February 3, 2018, in protest to their unlawful exile from Evin Prison to Qarchak Prison, in violation of the principle of separation of prisoners of different categories.
“Mrs. Iraee is suffering from a severe drop in her blood pressure, a dry tongue and has lost the ability to walk,” a source close to the political prisoners said.
“She has lost at least 20 kilos and currently weighs less than 50 kg. She refuses to receive IV treatment and says that since previous promises were not kept about prison officials looking into their case, she is not willing to receive treatment.”
“Ms. Daemi is suffering from a severe case of the flu and one side of her face has become numb. When she went to the prison medical clinic, she was told that she probably suffered a nervous shock while being transferred to this prison or suffered trauma and this has led to a nerve failure in her face,” the source added.
Amnesty International issued a statement on March 9, 2018, expressing alarm at the condition of Golrokh Iraee and demanding her and Atena Daemi’s immediate release.
AI wrote, “Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, who has been on hunger strike for 35 days, is in very poor health. In the past week, she was placed on IV fluids without her consent, and at times has been unable to move. She is suffering from severe cramping in her muscles, which the prison doctor has confirmed is a result of the hunger strike.”
Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, has been cited as saying, “We are extremely alarmed by reports from Shahr-e Rey prison about the targeting and escalating ill-treatment of Golrokh and Atena. They should never have been imprisoned in the first place, and now it seems the Iranian authorities are deliberately subjecting them to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment because of their outspoken activism and continued human rights work even behind bars.”
Haj Moradi, deputy Prosecutor of Evin overseeing political prisoners, has told the prisoners’ families that Golrokh will not be returned to Evin even if she dies. Other reports indicate that the order for transfer must be issued by Tehran’s Prosecutor, Jaafari Dowlatabadi.
Political prisoners Golrokh Iraee and Atena Daemi are held in the quarantine ward of Qarchak Prison in conditions similar to solitary confinement. They are not allowed to leave the ward and no one has permission to visit them. The prisoners have been deprived of contacting their families and can call them only once a week in the presence of prison agents.