“Head of Judiciary Responsible For My Client’s Life,” Says Kaboudvand’s Lawyer
Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh said in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the life of her client, Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, is in serious danger. Kaboudvand, a human rights activist from Kurdistan, suffered his third stroke last week. “Despite all the reports I have filed with related authorities and my repeated requests for a furlough leave for my client, so far there has been no reply. He has not been allowed to have even one day furlough during his entire three years in prison,” Sotoudeh said.
Regarding Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand’s visit with his family yesterday, Nasrin Sotoudeh told the Campaign: “I received a phone call from his family today. They told me that they noticed during their visit that he was in an extremely poor state of health. He could not speak clearly and his vision had been impaired drastically. The family were saddened by his state of health and were crying during their visit, unable to talk to him. His children were crying seeing their father’s condition. I would like to state that the prison authorities and Head of the Judiciary are [directly] responsible for Mr. Kaboudvand’s life.”
According to Mr. Kaboudvand’s lawyer, only one charge has been made against him and that is “establishment of the Kurdistan Human Rights Defense Organization.” He received ten years in prison on this charge. “I dare say that the most difficult conditions ever imposed on a prisoner have taken place for Mr. Kaboudvand, to the point where the harsh prison conditions have caused him to have three strokes and heart attacks. These conditions are considered dangerous conditions for a prisoner and according to Prisons Organization procedures, this prisoner must be immediately released to pursue medical treatment. But it seems that his life is deliberately endangered. Even if there was evidence supporting the existence of the Kurdistan Human Rights Defense Organization, this action is not a crime by nature. Naturally, establishing a human rights NGO cannot be considered a crime by law. This is one of the ‘miracles’ of the Islamic Republic to call this a crime,” Sotoudeh told the Campaign regarding her client’s charge and his conditions.
Sotoudeh added that her client was summarily transferred to the prison infirmary for a few hours, but this time had not been adequate for his treatment. “He was kept there for a few hours and then he was released without receiving any substantial treatment. In his telephone call to me five months ago, he said that even his prison physician had told him that he would have to go on medical furlough in order to seek cardiac treatment outside the prison. All the things I told the prison authorities have been ignored. At this point a decision about his furlough leave will have to be made by the Sentence Implementation Judge or the Head of the Revolutionary Courts. Both authorities refrain from doing this. The Kaboudvand family have been told that all decisions pertaining to political prisoners have to be made by the Tehran Prosecutor. Mrs. Kaboudvand’s frequent visits to the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office have remained unacknowledged and she has not received any replies to her several letters, following up on her husband’s dangerous conditions,” she said.
Nasrin Sotoudeh also represents Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, another political activist in prison. “The second case is the case of Mr. Tabarzadi. He was arrested seven months ago, but there have been no judicial decisions made in his case. The uncertainty of this situation, given the fact that the law states that the case of those who are arrested must be processed expeditiously, is unjustifiable. Mr. Tabarzadi is one of those political prisoners that was even brought before the judge blindfolded in order to inform him of his charges. This is against the law, ” said Sotoudeh.