Recent String of Human Rights Successes in Iran Welcomed

Emadeddin Baghi

Iran human rights success stories have sadly been quite rare lately but in just the past three weeks, human rights activists have had several reasons to celebrate.

Amnesty International welcomes the release on medical furlough of labor leader Mansour Ossanlu and journalist Hengameh Shahidi, the unconditional release of eminent author and human rights defender Emadeddin Baghi, and the news of recently released physician and HIV/AIDS researcher Kamiar Alaei’s receipt of a prestigious award.

All of these four individuals had been prominent cases on which activists from Amnesty International and our partner organizations had been tirelessly campaigning. They had all been featured in our most recent Nowruz (Iranian New Year) action from this spring.

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Iranian Authorities Irresponsibly Endanger Lives of Human Rights Activists in Squalid Prison

Emadeddin Baghi

Evin Prison has a well-earned reputation as a notoriously vile detention center.  While even previously healthy prisoners develop serious medical conditions when they spend time there, Evin Prison is especially dangerous to prisoners who are already ill.

The Iranian authorities are perfectly well aware of this and yet two seriously ailing human rights defenders—Emadeddin Baghi and Ebrahim Yazdi—are both back in Evin Prison, suffering from the squalid conditions there and not receiving proper—or, for that matter, any—medical care.  This blatant disregard for the health of these two courageous activists is utterly unconscionable; the Iranian authorities must take immediate measures to ensure the safety of Mr. Baghi and Dr. Yazdi before their conditions deteriorate even further.

Prominent human rights defender Emadeddin Baghi has been sentenced to a total of seven years in prison, including six years for recording an interview with the late reformist cleric Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. He was sent to prison on 5 December 2010 and is reportedly being held without access to his family. He suffers from serious heart, respiratory and kidney ailments which have been brought on or exacerbated by poor prison conditions and medical neglect suffered during previous imprisonments.

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