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Critically Ill Political Prisoner Refused Medical Leave with One Month Left to Serve on Sentence

CHRI - The lawyer for ailing political prisoner Ehsan Mazandarani has requested his client spend the month remaining for the completion of his sentence on medical leave but so far Iranian judicial authorities have refused.


"Ehsan has twice lost consciousness in prison," the reformist journalist's mother Azam Eghtesad told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on August 31, 2017. "His condition is critical. If anything happens to him the Tehran prosecutor Mr. (Abbas) Jafari Dowlatabadi is responsible."

She added: "His lawyer (Hossein Taj) has asked for his early release on medical grounds. Why don't you release him? He only has a month left on his sentence. The authorities say Ehsan must file a request for temporary release but he refuses because he says he doesn't want to ask for a pardon."

For nearly 10 days the former editor-in-chief of Farhikhtegan has only been able to ingest liquids as his stomach has been rejecting solid food. Despite a severe drop in weight and blood pressure, he has been denied treatment by specialists outside prison.

Mazandarani, 35, was violently returned to Evin Prison on March 11, 2017, less than a month after he was released by mistake, according to judicial officials. He had spent more than 13 months behind bars for peacefully engaging in his profession before being returned to the prison.

Mazandarani's mother told CHRI that her son had been transferred to the Taleghani Hospital in Tehran eight times in recent weeks but each time he had been returned without receiving any treatment.

"Because of the beatings he has received, his knee was badly injured," Eghtesad said. "He was taken for an MRI but the result was never given to us. There is bleeding in his kidney and he is suffering from digestive problems and anemia. His body is rejecting food. We don't know what's wrong with him because we have not been given his test results."

"We are very worried for his health," The imprisoned journalist's mother continued. "If they want to kill my son they should let us know. If not, what's the danger in letting him go?"

To help her husband, Mazandarani's wife, Maliheh Hosseini, has also been making pleas on social media to get the attention of the authorities.

"Ehsan has been seriously ill for about a week. He is not on a hunger strike, but he can't ingest anything but water and he could slip into a coma at any moment," wrote Hosseini on Instagram on August 23. "Maybe this is what the security establishment wants. Whatever happens to him will be a stain on Dowlatabadi and (Judiciary Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni) Ejei."