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Amnesty Urges Transfer Of Jailed Activist To Cancer Treatment Center

Human rights activist Arash Sadeghi, and his wife, Golrokh Iraee, undated
Human rights activist Arash Sadeghi, and his wife, Golrokh Iraee, undated

Amnesty International has urged Iranian authorities to transfer the imprisoned human rights activist Arash Sadeghi to a cancer treatment center.

“Iranian human rights defender Arash Sadeghi has been diagnosed with a bone tumor that may be cancerous”, wrote Amnesty in a press release and criticized the Iranian authorities for “disregarding medical advice which recommends his immediate transfer to a facility specializing in cancer treatment.”

Sadeghi has been suffering pain in his arm and shoulder for 18 months, but the prison clinic in Raja’i Shahr, Karaj, 30 km west of the capital Tehran, has been prescribing antiinflammatory drugs. Finally he received an X-ray in May of this year and later an MRI.

After being kept for a long time in the dark by the authorities, Sadeghi finally found out in June that doctors had discovered a tumor in his elbow and advised that he has to be admitted to the Cancer Institute of Imam Khomeini Hospital immediately to establish whether it was cancerous, Amnesty says in its report.

After several short-term detentions, Arash Sadeghi was convicted to 15 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran in 2016 for "acting against national security, attending protests, defamation of the supreme leader, forming illegal groups, and propaganda against the regime". He had also a previous suspended 4-year jail that was added to the new conviction, totalling his prison term to 19 years.

Sadeghi has described the allegations as fabricated by the judiciary and the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In addition to attending peaceful protests, Sadeghi was providing Amnesty International, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran and members of the European Parliament with information on the human rights situation in Iran and gave interviews to several foreign based Persian media outlets, Amnesty International says in its statement.

His wife, Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee has been also convicted to 6 years in prison for writing an unpublished book on stoning. Protesting her arrest in October 2016, Sadeghi went on hunger strike for 71 days that left him with several health complications.