Sen's daily

May 27, 2013

Semnan province attorney blocks leave for Bahai prisoners

100 letters for freedom (blog, editorial opinion), May 25

There are numerous Bahais in prison in Semnan, including women with small babies and. in the men’s wing, some Bahais who have serious illnesses. Despite the help given by the General Manager of prisons in Semnan province, Mr. Arab, and the promise that prison furloughs would be granted to prisoners without regard to their personal beliefs, and despite the cooperation of the head of Semnan’s central prison and other prison authorities there, to allow prison furloughs for Bahai prisoners, Mr. Haydar Asyabi ( حیدر آسیابی ), the Provincial Attorney, has refused to allow it. He has even refused Bahais early release at the end of their prison terms. At the Now Ruz holidays, even Bahai prisoners whose medical records were presented, with a recommendation for therapeutic furlough, were denied any leave. In each case, reference is made to the Medical Officer for the prison, Mr. Shateri ( شاطری ) who has knowingly contributed to the oppression of the Bahai community in Semnan. He is responsible for treating all the illnesses in the prison, and the Attorney has relied on his opinion in refusing leave to the prisoners. However the prison regulations specify that it is the Provincial Attorney who is responsible. In some cases, the medical conditions of Bahai prisoners have been exacerbated by lack of timely treatment. The Provincial Attorney’s duties and freedom to act are very broad, and prison regulations and the criminal procedure stress the importance of the physical and mental health of prisoners, which raises the question of why Mr. Asyabi has not used this power to grant leave to the Bahai prisoners? Why has he participated in the oppression of the Bahais, without regard for the rules and principles of Human Rights?

Update, May 27: IOPHRI reports that Sufi prisoners in Evin prison are being refused medical treatment, unless they can obtain permission from the Ministry of Intelligence.

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