The wife of an Iranian political avtivist who has been imprisoned since last year said that her sick husband has been denied furlough, regular phone calls and medical treatment despite the Coronavirus outbreak in Vakilbad Prison in Mashhad.
In a post on her Facebook page on June 29, Sedigheh Maliki-Fard said that for more than 325 days, her husband, Hashem Khastar has been held in solitary confinement of the Intelligence Department and Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad without furlough.
Mrs. Maleki Fard said: “All the prisoners have a phone card and are in contact with their families. But despite the fact that he has a final sentence, Mr. Khastan has not been allowed to have a phone card…The security guards have set up a prison inside the prison for him, and now I have no news of my sick husband in prison.”
“For some time now, my husband has been suffering from gastrointestinal diseases and high blood pressure, which he developed during his detention. I and his lawyer have repeatedly referred to the northeastern city’s Revolutionary Court and even met with its deputy prosecutor to seek temporary release for him, but no action has been taken yet,” Mrs. Maleki Fard added.
She said that he needs surgery but he has refused to do so due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the prison.
Prison officials have made his medical leave conditional on the permission of forensic medicine and the prosecutor’s office. However, despite the continuous follow-up of his wife, no action has been taken by the prosecutor’s office so far.
Hashem Khastar, a prominent Iranian teachers’ rights activist, was arrested in August 2019 after signing an open letter along with 13 other dissidents, calling for the resignation of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
He received a final 16-year prison sentence on March 29 for the charges of “membership in an anti-government group” and “spreading anti-government propaganda and administering a Telegram social media channel with the intention of disrupting national security”.
The June 11, 2019, letter said: “The time has come for the people, thinkers, and caring individuals to lead a national movement by setting aside conciliatory tendencies that have facilitated the destruction of our culture, civilization and national wealth, and with all honesty step into the ring and demand fundamental changes to the Constitution and the resignation of the Leader who is unjustly extending his authority on a daily basis.”