NCRI WOMEN'S COMMITTEE

Works extensively with Iranian women outside the country and maintains a permanent contact with women inside Iran. The Women’s Committee is actively involved with many women's rights organizations and NGO's and the Iranian diaspora. The committee is a major source of much of the information received from inside Iran with regards to women. Attending UN Human Rights Commission meetings and other international or regional conferences on women’s issues, and engaging in a relentless battle against the Iranian regime's misogyny are part of the activities of members and associates of the committee.

Atena Daemi was supposed to be tried on new charges filed by Evin’s infirmary Sunday morning, October 22, 2017. The human rights activist who is presently incarcerated in the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison refused to attend the trial.

She had already declared that she would not attend the court because she deemed the trial as being “unjust” and the fact that the director of the infirmary, Charmahali, and its physician, Abbas Khani, had to be “prosecuted for denying medical treatment” to prisoners.

Instead, she sent out and published an open letter on the abysmal medical conditions in Evin Prison. Parts of her letter read:

 

There are no stretchers or wheelchairs in the prison, so four of us have to lift the patient and take her 25 steps down the stairs.

The patients’ stretcher does not fit into the ambulance and the back doors have to be left open during the patient’s transfer to hospital, leaving her head out of the car...

There is a small wooden bed in the corner of the infirmary which shakes and cannot bear the weight of even a 25-kilogram patient.

There is a physician who is called Shahriari. He is supposed to specialize in internal medicine but he is more like an interrogator who needs to know your charges before he starts his examinations to diagnose your illness!...

Of course, there are honorable doctors, too, who get reprimanded by the warden for attending to the patients, especially if they are political prisoners.

The pharmacy puts medications of sick prisoners in special boxes every night. Apparently, the boxes used to be white, but now they are black. Often times, the medications are, deliberately or inadvertently, put into the wrong boxes!!! The patient must swallow all her pills with one glass of water in front of the prison guard! There have been cases where the prisoner had to swallow 18 pills at once!

If you are a woman and you are prescribed by the physician to have a cardiograph or even receive an injection, then the male nurses are religiously forbidden to attend to you. Then, you would have to be sent to a hospital to receive a simple injection, which the prison warden forbids, or wait for the female nurse to come during the office hours…

Eventually, if there is an emergency, there has to be some back and forth, and then the doctor concludes that a female guard who is accompanying the patient and has no knowledge of anything would have to do the cardiograph. Then the patient is laid on the bed and the female guard stands over her head. She has to grab her chador (black veil) by one hand and with the other she has to clamp the sensors from over your clothes according to the instructions the male nurse gives from behind a partition...

Dental care is another story. Its cost for prisoners who have no source of income is more expensive that visitation fee for the best doctors in Iran and the world. And they put their hands without any gloves into your mouth and there is no autoclave...

The infirmary’s director, Abbas Khani, is a wrestling manager who claims to be a doctor. But he knows neither the principles of wrestlers nor the ethics of doctors.

He claimed that I was healthy. He denied that I was having pain. He cancelled my hospital visits and advised the Prosecutor’s Office that I was completely healthy. He continued to deny until I confronted him. I told him that he was a butcher and nothing more. He and his boss, Charmahali, brazenly filed complaints and leveled charges against me. When the trial was to convene for the second time, I did not attend.

They concealed the hospital’s test results from me. They insulted me and stressed that I was healthy. But Atena has a father and some acquaintances who would find out the test results and the CT scans for me despite all the trouble. The test results indicated that I had to be urgently operated on. My gallbladder had to be immediately emptied due to infection and kidney stones…

Eventually, after a few months and after it was proven that I was sick, I was hospitalized, underwent surgery under heavy security conditions to remove all the gallstones from my gallbladder.

Now, one can imagine the death of Hoda Saber in the same infirmary! And the deaths of Shahrokh Zamani, Afshin Osanlou, and Mohsen Dokmechi. And the conditions of Alireza Rajaii, Omid Kokabi and Arash Sadeghi, and Mohammad Jarrahi who recently died of chronic illness.

You can also imagine hundreds of sick prisoners who die in silence because of the crimes of Charmahali and Khani and their likes, without anyone knowing of their names or conditions...

I declare to Mohammad Javad Zarif, that as an Iranian, not only I’m not a member of the IRGC but I am in jail due to the IRGC’s crimes and maliciousness. Today, not only me, but hundreds of thousands of prisoners have lost our security and health due to the IRGC’s instructions to the prison wardens and heads of infirmary.

 

Atena Daemi, Women’s Ward, Evin Prison

October 22, 2017

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