MARCH 6, 2018 – CHRI – Alireza Golipour requires a heart procedure at a hospital but judicial authorities have refused to grant him furlough for medical leave from Evin Prison in Tehran, his lawyer told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“We have warned the judicial authorities, including the prosecutor and the case judge, about Mr. Golipour’s critical condition but they have not paid any attention. Tomorrow I don’t want them to tell me that my client has committed suicide because he’s not the kind to do that and the judiciary will have blood on its hands if anything happens to him as a result of cardiac arrest,” attorney Azita Gharehbeyglou told CHRI on March 2, 2018.
“My client is in critical condition,” said Gharehbeyglou. “On Tuesday night [February 27], he got really sick and his cellmates begged him to go to the clinic but he refused. At 4 am on Wednesday he had a seizure and heart problems and he was taken to the clinic. His cellmates contacted me and said he had suffered a heart attack.”
Furlough, temporary leave typically granted to prisoners in Iran for a variety of familial, holiday, and medical reasons, is routinely denied to political prisoners as a form of additional punishment.
Arrested by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry in September 2012, Golipour, 31, is serving a 12-year prison sentence for the charges of “spying for foreigners,” “sympathizing” with the banned Mojahedin-e Khalgh (MEK) organization, “insulting the supreme leader,” “disturbing public order” and “acting against national security.”
He has admitted to passing information to US officials about Iran’s Natanz nuclear power site, Gharehbeyglou said in an interview with CHRI in May 2016. But Gharehbeyglou has repeatedly noted that Golipour’s special medical condition entitles him to a case review.
“When I went to Evin Prison, the judicial authorities told me the medical doctor at the prison clinic denied that my client had a heart attack,” Gharehbeyglou told CHRI. “Nevertheless, the prison’s medical chief Dr. [Abbas] Khani has said he needs an angiography and should get a heart scan but the prison is not equipped for that and unfortunately the authorities have not approved requests for outside treatment.”
“On July 11, 2017, the medical examiner made a formal diagnosis that my client is not fit to serve his term but he has been kept in prison for the past eight months despite his worsening condition,” added Gharehbeyglou.