London, 16 May – An Iranian political prisoner is being refused hospital treatment by the authorities after suffering a suspected heart attack on Sunday.
Afshin Baymani, who is in his mid-forties, suffers from a serious heart condition that has been known about for many years. He is currently being held in Ward 4 of Hall 12 of the notorious Rajai-Shahr Prison in Karaj, north-west of Tehran.
According to reports from fellow political prisoners, published Sunday by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Baymani’s condition is extremely serious. Doctors said that he needed to be hospitalised and should not return to the prison ward. The prison warden denied this request and Baymani was ultimately sent back to the prison ward after receiving two injections to reduce the chance of a further heart attack and to break down blood clots.
Doctors have warned that Mr Baymani should not be left alone at any time because with his condition he is at risk of heart failure even whilst asleep. Baymani is in very poor health; he has suffered previous heart attacks and his lungs are also suffering serious problems. The doctors have previously recommended open-heart surgery but this was also denied by the prison. He has never received medical leave or been allowed to transfer to a hospital.
Baymani was imprisoned in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison for allegedly helping his brother evade arrest; he was sentenced to execution on September 6, 2000 but the verdict was commuted to life imprisonment in 2006.
In 2014, Baymani went on hunger strike in solidarity with Iranian women who were being targeted by organised fundamentalist gangs associated with the regime. According to the Guardian, the gangs would attack young women who were not dressed in the hijab by throwing acid in their face.
In 2015, he went on hunger strike again with fellow political prisoner, Arzhang Davoudi, to protest conditions in the prison and transfers to the ordinary prisoners’ ward.