Iranian Political Prisoner Denied Hospitalization After Refusing to Wear Prison Garb

Saeed Shirzad

Iranian political prisoner Saeed Shirzad was not transferred to a hospital on Sunday after he refused to wear a prison garb.

Saeed Shirzad’s family had arranged his transfer for Sunday and paid for the hospital. He was due for a scheduled eye operation. However, prison officials did not permit him to be taken to hospital.

Saeed Shirzad’s requests for hospitalization have been denied several times in the past months by the prosecutor’s office.

He suffers from severe kidney problems and needs urgent medical treatment.

After sonographic tests in December 2019, doctors said one of his kidneys has shrunk and the other is suffering issues from a cyst and if this trend continues, he could lose one of them.

He has also been experiencing pain in his back due to lumbar disc and spinal problems.

Saeed Shirzad, a 30-year-old human rights activist, has been detained since in June 2015 for helping the children of political prisoners pursue education.

Arrested by the Intelligence Ministry, he has been accused of having contact with political prisoners’ families and cooperating with the office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran.

He is serving a five-year prison sentence that was issued by Judge Abolqasem Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court for the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security.”

On December 8, 2017, Shirzad sewed his lips shut the day he began a hunger strike to demand improved living conditions at the prison, which is known for its harsh treatment of political prisoners.

Iran has a history of mistreating prisoners by denying them adequate access to medical care.

Other political prisoners in poor health include the prisoner of conscience and human right defender Arash Sadeghi.

He is being tortured through the intentional and purposeful denial of his access to cancer treatment, causing him severe pain and suffering. A serious post-operation infection has developed in his right arm due to lack of care in prison, leaving it swollen, paralysed and without sensation. He has also been denied critical bone marrow tests to monitor if his cancer has spread.