Heshmatollah Tabarzadi’s Son: ‘My Father Says Furlough is Impossible’
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, political prisoner Heshmatollah Tabarzadi’s son, Hossein Tabarzadi, told the Campaign that his father is in poor condition and his family is concerned about his health. “Our family’s last visit with my father was last Thursday. He appeared well, because his spirits are high, he always maintains himself well and always faces us in a happy mood. But he said that his health had deteriorated during the week and he had to go to the prison infirmary. They did an EKG on him and said that he has a heart condition. My father did not have any heart problems before going to prison,” Tabarzadi said.
“To be sure, long-term hunger strikes damage the prisoners’ bodies, especially when prison conditions are not good, either. The poor food conditions, short daily fresh-air breaks, over-crowding in prison wards, unsuitable hygiene and other things all lead to illness,” continued Tabarzadi.
“Our pursuit of his furlough or transfer to a hospital is dependent on his own actions in prison. But my father is seriously against such actions and says that considering the difficult process in prison, even thinking about a furlough is an impossibility. We saw this time that those whose conditions became critical were only transferred to the prison infirmary, never to [hospitals] outside. Of course, as his son, I do pursue his furlough, but when I talk to him he says don’t pursue it because I’m not following it up from inside the prison,” said Hossein Tabarzadi.
Political activist and Secretary General of the Iran Democratic Front, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi was arrested on 27 December 2009 and transferred to Evin Prison. After protesting the execution of five political prisoners, including Kurdish teacher Farzad Kamangar, Tabarzadi was transferred to Rajaee Shahr Prison. He was sentenced to seven years in prison by Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. Tabarzadi has participated in several long hunger strikes to protest various issues.