April 20, 2011
Hassan Nahid, a political prisoner who was held in ward 350 of Evin prison died two weeks ago in the hospital due to lack of medical attention and treatment for his cancer, according to the Committee in Defense of Political Prisoners.
Hassan Nahid was sentenced to three years in prison on the charges of espionage and disclosing classified documents. Since he was unable to afford the €63,000 fine, he was jailed for an additional three years.
In 2006, Hassan Nahid had signed a statement that condemned the suspicious death of Akbar Mohammadi, a member of the central council for the United Student Front who died in prison after a hunger strike and the lack of attention by prison officials. Consequently, Hassan Nahid was denied access to medical services outside the prison, even though he suffered from cancer. He was permitted to only use the medical services offered in the prison clinic. Additionally, he was subjected to continuous harassment and humiliation.
Hassan Zarezadeh Ardeshir, the spokesperson for the Committee in Defense of Political Prisoners said, “The death of Hassan Nahid is suspicious. He was under pressure in prison. Despite suffering from a serious illness and a critical health condition, judicial and security authorities prevented him from seeking treatment outside the prison until it was too late. He died after being transferred to the hospital.”
Rajai Shahr political prisoner Mohsen Dogmechi died on March 29th as a result of his physical condition deteriorating from lack of medial care.
Hassan Zarezadeh Ardeshir insists that the death of Hassan Nahid has to be investigated. He also recalled that Mohsen Dokmehchi, the prisoner of conscience held in Rajai Shahr ‘Gohardasht’ prison died on March 30th, also due to the refusal of prison officials to transfer him to a hospital and provide him with much needed medical attention. Mohsen Dokmechi died in Tehran’s Modares hospital after suffering for months from cancer.
Many other political prisoners such as Akbar Mohammadi, Amir Saran, Omid Mir-Sayafi, and Alborz Ghassemi-Shall have died under suspicious circumstances in Iranian prisons. Their deaths must be investigated by an independent delegation.
The Committee in Defense of Political Prisoners has asked Islamic Republic officials to provide the public and the media with the necessary information regarding Hassan Nahid’s death.
Hassan Zarehzadeh Ardeshir points out that, according to international laws and regulations, the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for protecting the lives of the prisoners and must be held accountable in this regard. We urge international bodies to take serious action with respect to suspicious deaths in the Islamic Republic’s prisons.