Human rights defender Arash Sadeghi needs urgent cancer test, Amnesty International says
Amnesty International on June 29, 2018 said, “Iranian prisoner of conscience and human rights defender Arash Sadeghi is being subjected to torture by Revolutionary Guard officials who are blocking his access to
urgent medical care. He is suffering from respiratory problems and a stomach ulcer that has led to internal bleeding, abdominal pain and digestive complications.”
Amnesty International said, “Critically ill prisoner of conscience and human rights defender Arash Sadeghi, aged 31, has learned that he has a tumour in his elbow that may be cancerous. Over the past 18 months, he has experienced persistent pain in his elbow and shoulders. Instead of referring him for diagnostic tests, the prison clinic had only prescribed him anti inflammatory
drugs. In late May 2018, he finally received an X-ray in the prison clinic in Raja’i Shahr prison, Karaj.
Soon afterwards, he received a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan outside prison. This was followed by an unexpected transfer to a medical expert specializing in cancer treatment. Arash Sadeghi has said that he was puzzled by this medical visit and his repeated requests for information from the doctor were left unanswered; he just overheard a conversation among the medical staff that he was suspected of having “bone sarcoma”, which he later learned is a rare cancer that often starts in the bones of the arms or legs. On 13 June, he was transferred for another medical appointment outside the prison, during which he was allowed by a guard to briefly look at his medical file. This is when he found out that doctors had discovered a tumour in his elbow and advised that he be immediately admitted to the Cancer Institute of Imam Khomeini Hospital to establish whether it was cancerous. However, he and his family have not been allowed by the Prosecutor’s Office to see his entire medical file. In the days that followed, Arash Sadeghi talked to a member of staff at the prison clinic who told him that “time is of the essence” in his situation and that he should be immediately tested for bone cancer. His family subsequently appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran to authorize his transfer to Imam Khomeini Hospital. However, the Prosecutor’s Office rejected their request and insisted that his treatment take place in Madani Hospital in Karaj. Amnesty International is concerned that Madani Hospital does not have the necessary equipment and expertise to diagnose and treat bone cancer. This hospital also has a partnership with the State Prison Organization, which allows the authorities to exercise full control over prisoners’ medical records and to restrict or withdraw access to these records from prisoners and their families.”