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My Client Is Dying In Prison But Nobody Cares, Says Lawyer

Iranian prisoner Alireza Golipour who is accused of espionage, undated.

The lawyer of a 31-year old man, who has been imprisoned since 2012 for allegedly passing on information about the Islamic Republic’s Natanz nuclear site to US officials, says that she has repeatedly warned judiciary and intelligence officials about her client’s poor health condition.

“My client, Alireza Golipour is suffering from cancer, pulmonary diseases, infected lymphatic glands, epilepsy and last week had a heart attack behind bars. I have repeatedly requested the authorities to transfer him to a proper hospital, but they have not responded, yet,” said Azita Qarabeigloo.

Implicitly referring to recent suspicious deaths of inmates in Tehran’s notorious prison, Evin, Ms. Qarabeigloo insisted, “They cannot say that my client committed suicide or died after a heart attack. My client is not a person tending to take his own life. If he dies of a heart attack, the Islamic Republic authorities will be responsible for his death since he needs urgent medical treatment.”

Alireza Golipour was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence agents in 2012 and sentenced to twelve years.

His lawyer says, Golipour admitted at his trial that he had passed information to US Embassy in the United Arab Emirates about Iran's Natanz nuclear site and [then] President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration.

"Prisoners have rights, but those rights are not respected for political and security prisoners. Prison means taking away your freedom. It doesn't mean you are banned from family visits. You can't be beaten or humiliated. But unfortunately, this is what has happened, and will continue to happen,” notes Azita Qarabeigi, adding,"As a lawyer, I say the law should be carried out to the letter, We are not asking for anything more or less."

Alireza Golipour, serving his twelve-year term in Ward 7 of Evin Prison has undergone two surgeries, so far, to remove cancerous tumors.

Reportedly, many prisoners in the Islamic Republic have been denied medical treatment in recent years, including Mohsen Dogmechi and Hasan Nahid who were kept in Evin’s Ward 350 and died behind bars for being deprived of medical treatment.

Another prominent political prisoner, Alireza Rajaei is also a victim of medical treatment being withheld.

In 2011, Rajaei, 54, was sentenced to four years imprisonment and put behind bars. He was accused of acting against national security and being a member of Nationalist-Religious alliance.

Rajaei, while doing his term in prison, got afflicted with Sinus cancer but never allowed to get treatment. Some of his former prison-mates said on social media that on multiple occasions, the prison infirmary refused to send Rajaei to hospital and attributed his pain to toothache "that was always remedied with pain-killers"

After being released, Alireza Rajaei lost his right eye and part of the right side of his face after a complicated surgery, his relatives disclosed last September.

International Human rights organizations have repeatedly condemned the Islamic Republic for depriving its prisoners of necessary medical treatment.