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AI Slams Iran For Humiliating Two Prisoners Of Conscience

Amnesty International, AI, has slammed the Islamic Republic for shackling and handcuffing two prisoners of conscience who are bedbound in a hospital.

It is regrettable, AI notes, that Iranian officials instead of immediately releasing Mahmoud Salehi and Mohammad Nazari have humiliated them.

According to AI, Salehi and Nazari who needed medical treatment were transferred to a hospital where they have been shackled to their beds.

“It is regrettable that Iranian officials, instead of immediately releasing Mahmoud Salehi and Mohammad Nazari, have treated them as criminals, persecute, humiliate and tying them to their beds”, AI’s researcher for Iran related cases, Raha Bahreini told Radio Farda.

International laws allow using tools such as fetters and handcuffs only for the prisoners who might harm themselves or attack others and try to escape, AI reiterated.

Furthermore, using chains and shackles that humiliate prisoners’ dignity and bring pain upon them is unlawful at any given situation.

Earlier, several prisoners in Iran, while needing medical treatment, had preferred to stay in their cells and avoid putting on prison uniform and being handcuffed.

Referring to its investigation and research, AI has announced that the judiciary and prison officials in the Islamic Republic are constantly violating international laws and insist on shackling and handcuffing political prisoners whenever they are taken to hospital.

“As a rule, such behavior is aimed to humiliate, persecute, punish and bring extra pain upon prisoners and, in many cases, has delayed or disturbed their medical treatment”, AI noted.

Political prisoner Mohammad Nazari
Political prisoner Mohammad Nazari

Earlier, AI had called upon the Islamic republic officials to immediately and unconditionally release Mohammad Nazari and Mahmoud Salehi and ensure their regular access to special medical treatment until setting them free.

Mohammad Nazari, who has been behind bars for the past 24 years, has called for implementation of the new Islamic Penal Code in his case which decreases his prison term to fifteen years, which automatically would lead to his release.

Nevertheless, his demand was dismissed and Nazari, in protest, has been on hunger strike for nearly hundred days.

““Now, in the 24th year of my imprisonment, I am alone, with no one to rely on,” he has written in a letter, adding, “I am on hunger strike because I have no options left.”

Calling for help, Nazari has also written, “Don’t abandon me, I don’t have anyone. My father, mother and brother were laid to rest years ago... Your helping hand is my only hope. Help me. Help me so that my voice can be heard. Help me gain the freedom I am legally entitled to.”

Mahmoud Salehi, a labor activist. File photo
Mahmoud Salehi, a labor activist. File photo

The spokesman for the Organizational Committee to Establish Trade Unions, Mahmoud Salehi, who has been imprisoned since April 9, 2007 is also seriously ill.

Amnesty International believes that he is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and his association with the 2004 May Day demonstration.

“I have lost my kidneys since I did not have access to medical treatment and received my medicine with much delay”, Salehi has disclosed on his Facebook account.

The Islamic Intelligence Ministry and judiciary have not yet responded to the claim.