Guard Assaults Ailing Political Prisoner in Hospital
Imprisoned newspaper editor Ehsan Mazandarani, who has been hospitalized in Tehran since May 31, 2016 due to his life-threatening hunger strike, was attacked by a prison guard in his hospital room during a family visit.
On June 5, 2016 a guard threw Mazandarani’s 11-year-old niece out of the room in a “violent and rude manner” and took away her computer tablet, said Mazandarani’s brother-in-law, Sam Hosseini.
“The guard’s behavior was so bad that Ehsan got out of bed and demanded to be taken back to prison,” Hosseini told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “The agent then attacked Ehsan, pushed him against the wall and twisted his right hand in a way that caused the IV needle to come out of his arm, making it bleed.”
Mazandarani, the editor-in-chief of the reformist Farhikhtegan newspaper, began a dry hunger strike in Evin Prison on May 17, 2016 to protest prison conditions and the authorities’ refusal to free him on bail until the Appeals Court meets to rule on his seven-year prison sentence.
He was transferred to the hospital on May 31 and only began accepting liquids after being urged to by colleagues and politicians, but he is still refusing food.
Mazandarani has been suffering from infections in his digestive tract that began during the 120 days he was forced to spend in solitary confinement in Evin Prison’s Ward 2-A, which is controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
The newspaper editor was arrested on November 2, 2015 by IRGC agents, as part of an escalating crackdown on reformist and independent journalists, and sentenced to seven years in prison on April 26, 2016 for “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the state” by Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court .
Mazandarani is still awaiting his appeal hearing.