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Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

Political Prisoner Arash Sadeghi, under Treatment for Cancer, has been Physically Assaulted by Guards in Hospital

Arash Sadeghi, an Iranian political prisoner diagnosed with cancer, has been physically assaulted by guards while under treatment in hospital, an informed source tells Abdorrahman Boroumand Center (ABC).

Sadeghi, presently being held at Iran’s Raja’i Shahr Prison, was scheduled for a hospital transfer on October 13. After he was first taken from his cell, authorities initially resolved to return him to a prison ward for resisting ankle shackles and prison clothes. During the course of the transfer, they changed their minds, ultimately sending him to the hospital. The story did not end there, however: while at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini hospital, prison guards beat him for greeting other people.

An eyewitness related the episode to ABC: “A few people, upon seeing Mr. Sadeghi, gave him their greetings and he responded with a hello. At that moment, a soldier chained to Mr. Sadeghi with a metal handcuff protested, saying ‘You’ve coordinated with them to come visit you? You’ve got a heavy charge on you: now you want to come up with a story [to get us into trouble] too?’ Mr. Sadeghi said, ‘My charge has nothing to do with you.’ The guard then punched him in the rib cage. Mr. Sadeghi struck the guard in the foot in response. The guard then twisted Mr. Sadeghi’s cuffed hand, and another agent punched him on the hand which had been operated on. Mr. Sadeghi had just undergone surgery to have a cancerous tumor removed.”

According to this source, individuals then rushed to separate them, telling the guards “[Arash] hasn’t done anything, just said hello to a few people.” The guard then responded: “This doesn’t concern you!” A secretary then came out and told the guards, “This is a hospital! What’s going on with you?” After the incident, an individual who appeared to be the guards’ superior arrived, to whom the guards then related the events. This individual then told Sadeghi: “It’s written on your transfer order than you have no right to visitation! You don’t have the right to say hello!”

The source quotes Sadeghi: “The term ‘visitation’ has no precise definition, and the people here aren’t family members or people close to me that I’d be talking with. Someone said hello and I answered: this doesn’t count as a visitation, and [they] don’t have the right to determine whether someone says hello or not.” When the argument escalated, Sadeghi said “I want to know who gave you the right to beat a prisoner in handcuffs.”

The eyewitness says that Sadeghi demanded in desperation to be returned to prison without seeing a doctor. The doctor and his assistant emerged from the room and asked Sadeghi to accompany them for a consultation.

A family member of a Raja’i Shahr prisoner reports that Sadeghi’s hand which had been operated upon was swollen due to the punching and that Sadeghi’s other hand was affected by bruising and swelling after being twisted in cuffs. Sadeghi has reportedly not filed complaints against the soldiers involved in the incident despite recommendations from some prison officials that he do so.

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