On Wednesday April 27th, human rights experts reminded the Iranian regime of its obligations under international standards to respect prisoners’ rights to health and to ensure their humane treatment.
The text comes from a report by the United Nations Human Rights office of the High Commissioner.
Based on hard evidence, the report says that ‘the condition of several prisoners of conscience [already] with serious health problems has been exacerbated by their continued detention and by repeated refusal to allow their access to medical facilities.’
Last week a petition demanding the release of physicist Omid Kokabee, arrested and detained since Feb 2011 and imprisoned by unfair trail in May 2012, has garnered nearly 17,000 signatures.
Sentenced to 10 years behind bars Mr. Kokabee, a 34 year old experimental laser physicist, underwent emergency surgery last Wednesday. Regrettably, this came way too late after the diagnosis.
It was only after 4 years, with the onset of kidney cancer, that the award-winning scientist was permitted to undergo the surgery ‘to remove his right kidney.’
The group slammed the cruelty and misconduct of the clerical regime saying ‘[the] procedure could have been avoided had he been provided with adequate and timely access to proper treatment at an earlier stage.’
Among the experts commenting in the report is Mr. Juan E. Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and Mr. Seong-Phil Hong, Chair-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
Other cases the UN experts highlighted are of political prisoners Mohammed Hossein Rafiee Fanood and Kamal Foroughi, human rights defender Nargis Mohammadi, lawyer Abdulfattah Soltani, blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and religious figure Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi.
‘Disregard for their health and well-being by the Iranian authorities is completely unacceptable,’ the experts stressed. They added that ‘allegedly all of them have been arrested, detained and convicted purely for their peaceful exercise of their fundamental freedoms and rights.’