Why Was Teachers’ Rights Activist Hashem Khastar Sent to a Mental Hospital With No Signs of Illness?
Hashem Khastar Sent to a Mental Hospital With No Signs of Illness?
Teachers’ rights activist Hashem Khastar was having a day like any other when a group of men accosted him in the Iranian city of Mashhad, put him in an ambulance, and took him to a mental hospital without providing any explanation.
“He said he thought they’re going to kill him,” Khastar’s wife, Sedigheh Maleki, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on October 25, 2018.
Maleki added that both the Intelligence Ministry and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Intelligence Organization—the main authorities that arrest peaceful activists in Iran—had denied arresting Khastar.
After making many inquiries, she finally found out that her husband, a retired teacher, was being kept in the hospital on the order of the public and revolutionary prosecutor of Mashhad, Gholamali Sadeghi. When she demanded his release, hospital staff told her that they could not do anything unless the prosecutor allowed it.
Khastar has also been forced to take medication in the Ibn-e Sina and Dr. Hejazi Psychiatry Hospital in Mashhad, the capital of Khorasan Razavi Province, since being committed there on October 23. According to an open letter by his wife published on October 27, he was arrested by “plainclothes” men while tending to a garden he maintains on the “outskirts of the city.”
According to Article 3 of Iran’s Guidelines for Mental Rehabilitation Centers for Acute Mental Patients, “If the patient has not been diagnosed as mentally disabled by the Medical Board or a judicial body, his/her consent is necessary to be admitted for treatment.”
However, Iranian law gives security forces and the judiciary the upper hand in all legal cases involving activists and other individuals targeted by Iran’s security establishment. It is also not known whether Khastar has been given access to a lawyer.
Read More: Iran Human Rights
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