Friday, April 12, 2013

Iran must immediately release blogger with heart condition!

An April 12, 2013 article from the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) reports that doctors at Ghezel Hessar Prison, located in Iran, have concluded that jailed blogger Mohammad Reza Pourshajari is too unhealthy to remain in prison. However, he has been forced to serve his sentence, despite already having suffered two heart attacks, according to his daughter Mitra Pourshajari, who was interviewed by the ICHRI. She also commented that the authorities will be held responsible if they do not offer furlough for her father's open heart surgery, should he suffer another severe health issue.

On September 12, 2010, Mohammad was arrested at his home. He was brought to trial at Branch 109 of Alborz Province Courts with Judge Gholam Saraee handling his case. He was charged with insulting Ayatollah Khamenei and for supposedly being a threat to national security. Mohammad was punished with three years' jail time. However, in December 2011, he was punished with another year in jail, this time being charged with blasphemy. He has been taken from Rajaee Shahr Prison to Ghezel Hessar Prison with no explanation. According to Mitra, her father's case is still open and the judge dealing with his case has stated that the Intelligence Ministry is still conducting further research on the case--despite the previous two convictions. She fears that her father will face even more punishments.

Mitra also stated that evidence of two blocked arteries in her father's heart became apparent after a heart attack last October, and that prison doctors have even concluded that her father is too unhealthy to face jail time. Despite all this, Mitra states that over the past six months, the authorities did not even bother to transfer her father to a hospital. She added that her father suffers from additional diseases, ranging from disc problems, kidney stones, and an enlarged prostate.

Mitra is also concerned about the prison's dirty living conditions and her father's poor health. She has demanded her father's release and asked the Iranian legal authorities to get him treatment quickly, as he has already suffered two heart attacks. She also stated that the future of his health is looking more uncertain, especially considering the fact that his arteries are 85% blocked. Mitra also stressed that her father's heart condition is the direct result of being imprisoned--he did not have any health problems before being jailed. She stated that the authorities will be held responsible if her father suffers another severe health issue.

The needless persecution of Mohammad Reza Pourshajari and his daughter prove yet again that the Iranian regime has no respect for human rights. Punishing someone with unfounded charges shows that the Iranian legal system does not care about true justice. To add insult to injury, Mohammad is being denied access to treatment, despite being in obviously poor health. To deny medical care to someone whose health is clearly deteriorating is incredibly inhumane, and clashes with the Iranian government's claims that it is trying to enforce morality.

How do you feel about Mohammad Reza Pourshajari's persecution? Please leave your comments below.

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