By Jubin Katiraie
Iranian political prisoner Akbar Bagheri has been hemorrhaging for three weeks now, which has made him seriously weak, but he is also in danger of catching coronavirus (COVID-19) because the authorities at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary are holding him on a ward with suspected patients.
Bagheri has severe hemorrhoid, liver complications, skin issues, intestinal problems, and kidney failure, which caused him to exhibit a high fever last week, but instead of treating the actual issue, the regime dumped him on the COVID-19 ward, where he will most likely contract the virus due to his existing poor health.
Bagheri’s health has only gotten worse since then, reporting weakness, severe pains, and insomnia. He’s lost a lot of blood and needs a transfusion urgently, but the staff at the prison infirmary say this is not their job.
This is not the first time this year that Bagheri’s health has been in a critical condition.
In January, he fell unconscious due to anemia, severe pain, and illness. He was taken to the prison medic by other inmates and the doctor said that blood was not reaching his heart, but Bagheri was only given a serum before being taken back to the cells.
In 2019, he fell unconscious and had to be taken to the emergency room, where tests showed that he was suffering from anemia and a blood transfusion was done immediately.
He was detained in February 2018 for attending a protest rally for defrauded investors of the Caspian credit firm, linked to the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). He was held in solitary confinement at Evin Prison.
Eventually, the authorities at Evin promised to let him get important surgery at a public hospital, but before this could take place, he was moved to the Greater Tehran Penitentiary where he was denied treatment.
He has been on two hunger strikes to protest the lack of medical care, in May and August 2019.
At the time of his arrest, Bagheri was the sole carer for his 8-year-old daughter and elderly mother. They now have to fend for themselves and cannot visit him because of the huge distance between where they live in Kermanshah and his prison in Tehran.
Bagheri, a supporter of opposition group the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), was also arrested in 2017 after security forces raided his home. He was temporarily released on bail after two months of interrogation at Diesel Abad prison of Kermanshah, where he was kept in solitary confinement.