January 31, 2017

Southern Azerbaijan: Prison Refuses Medical Assistance to Prisoner of Conscience

Photo courtesy of Matthias Mueller @flickr.com

Human rights activist Habib Sasanian was denied medical treatment for a chronic ailment in prison. Mr Sasanian had been arrested along with five other Southern Azerbaijani self-determination activists in June 2016 and is, since, being held in pre-trial detention at Tabriz Central Prison. He is being accused of faking his condition and was moved to a “special ward”, where another prisoner had died earlier after complaining of severe heart pain. Habib Sasanian and his fellow activists had been arrested for voicing their concern about Iran’s support of Armenia’s military involvement in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno Karabakh region.

Below is an article published by ARAZ News:

Muhammad Esalari, prisoner in ward 12 in Tabriz Central Prison, following a severe heart pain called for medical attention, but instead of being transferred to the infirmary of the prison, he was accused of malingering by the authorities and transferred to special ward and he eventually lost his life reported via HRANA (Human Rights Activists News Agency) on 21st January [2017].

And also South Azerbaijan national activist Habib Sasanian in this ward suffers from medical problems and called for medical attention, but he was accused of malingering by the authorities and transferred to special ward in the same way.

According to the last report, Muhammad Esalari fiscal prisoner in ward 12 in Tabriz Central Prison, following a severe heart pain called for medical attention, but the authorities prevented him from being transferred to the infirmary of the prison and accused him of malingering and transferred him to special ward and he eventually lost his life.

Also Habib Sasanian, the South Azerbaijan national activist prisoner, in this ward suffered from medical problems and called for medical attention, but was accused of malingering by the authorities and transferred to special ward in the same way.

Mr. Sasanian who suffered from very high blood pressure and eye pain, passed out several times in prison, but had been rescued with the help of his roommates.

The political prisoner in Tabriz prison had demanded medical attention several times, but each time, had been accused of simulation and threatened by being exiled to the special ward.

Habib Sasanian was arrested along with Mehdi Javadzadeh, Hamid Saghafi, Babak Avand, Esmaeil Afkhami and Younes Rahimi.

The head of judiciary of East Azerbaijan province called these 6 people members of the espionage group of GAMOH in June [2016].

Mozafari claimed, “These people were gathering classified military and economical documents and provided them to enemies of the regime”.

However, the activists were arrested earlier due to “the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia”.

Despite eight months of detention of the prisoners, he has been held pending, and his trial has not been held yet. During this period Habib Sasanian was tortured repeatedly.