Political prisoner Soheil Arabi wrote an open letter from Tehran’s Evin Prison saying that he had started a dry hunger strike and would continue until a cancer-stricken political prisoner in Rajaie Shahr Prison received medical treatment.
Political prisoner Arash Sadeghi, detained in Rajaie Shahr Prison near Tehran, has been deprived of much needed medical treatment by prison authorities.
In his letter, jailed Iranian blogger Soheil Arabi asked Iranians “to be the voice of Arash Sadeghi” and other “freedom loving prisoners” who have been deprived of medical treatment.
“Arash has spent close to a decade of his life behind prison walls for defending the rights of the oppressed. Now he needs urgent medical treatment. He has to be transferred to the hospital, but authorities have prevented even this,” he wrote in his prison from Evin Prison.
“This is while the very few criminals and plunderers who are in prison for embezzlement (from among the dozens of embezzlers who have fled the country or have never been punished), get long furloughs for a simple cold,” he wrote, adding that they are taken to hospital without shackles and prison uniforms.
“But writers, philosophers, journalists or workers, who are in prison for criticizing or protesting, and all political prisoners and civil rights activists are taken to the hospital with prison uniforms, and bound hands and feet. They are shackled to their hospital beds,” Soheil Arabi wrote.
The jailed blogger said that “whoever talks about freedom or equality” is deemed as a security threat by the regime and is “subjected to the worst kind of treatment and torture”.
Soheil called Arash Sadeghi “a national hero” asking of those who read his letter to campaign for his release.
“A human being can stay alive without food and water and I will not drink or eat until the day Arash is transferred for medical treatment,” he wrote on November 7.
According to Iran Human Rights Monitor, Arash Sadeghi has lost the ability to move his right hand due to an infection in his shoulder that has been left untreated.
Diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, the political prisoner underwent an operation to remove a tumor from his right shoulder on September 11, 2018.
After the surgery, physicians requested that Sadeghi remains in the hospital for 25-30 days for chemotherapy. But the judiciary rejected the request and sent Sadeghi back to prison a mere two days after he underwent surgery. The chemotherapy was meant to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of his body, including his chest.
The 33 year old political prisoner needs urgent medical treatment outside of prison. Prison authorities have rejected his transfer because he has refused to go to the hospital with bound hands and feet and prison uniform.
Arash Sadeghi has been sentenced to 15 years of prison for peacefully advocating human rights in Iran. He was transferred to Rajaie Shahr Prison known for its inhumane conditions in October 2017 after taking a smiling photo with Soheil Arabi in Evin’s courtyard.