By Jubin Katiraie
Iranian political prisoner Soheil Arabi has been left with major health problems due to “blunt trauma”, an infection, and frequent coughs, but there are no doctors in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary and his requests for outside medical help have been ignored.
Arabi needs urgent treatment and surgery, but authorities have repeatedly prevented this to increase his suffering.
In April 2019, Arabi was beaten up in prison after writing and publishing an article about the conditions of prisoners detained onward 1. He said that he was moved to Ward 1A of the IRGC Sarallah Garrison for interrogation, which was when the interrogator kicked him hard in the testicles.
Arabi said: “When I came to, I was in Firouzabadi Hospital. The physician told me that I had suffered a blunt trauma for which I must be operated on as soon as possible to remove my left testicle. After eight months, however, I have not been sent to the hospital. The infection has spread to other parts of my body and I feel severe pain in the legs.”
He has severe pain and infection, but the authorities are doing nothing because they want him to suffer and hopes it serves as a warning to other political prisoners and activists.
On January 21, Arabi rejected the Intelligence Ministry’s threats and refused to express remorse for his condemnation of the government’s massacre of 1,500 innocent and unarmed people during the recent uprisings. (The Revolutionary Guards and plainclothes agents were ordered to fire on any groups of eight or more people, which they did so from rooftops and helicopters.)
For this refusal, Arabi was sent into exile in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary from his previous prison of Evin.
This is all the worse for him because he has a compromised immune system and has no access to healthcare. What’s more, because of the low hygiene in this prison (caused by a lack of running water and warm buildings) the Coronavirus outbreak in a major threat, especially to those already sick.
Arabi’s case has been ongoing for over a year. Last January, it was reported that the authorities were denying him medical treatment for a broken nose as a form of torture.
Arabi had been beaten during interrogations on the IRGC-controlled ward 2A, but when he was due to be transferred for surgery, he fainted due to pain and was beaten up again.
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