Epileptic Inmate Alireza Golipour to Resume Life-Endangering Hunger Strike in Evin Prison
Prisoner Alireza Golipour, who suffers from epilepsy, has threatened to go on a life-threatening hunger strike again if judicial authorities do not carry out their promise to review his case and release him on medical grounds, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.
His attorney Azita Gharehbeyglou told CHRI on December 21, 2017, that her client only ended his previous two-month hunger strike after he was transferred from Evin Prison to a hospital on December 10.
“His body was rejecting medication and the doctors told him if he did not break his hunger strike he would die,” said Gharehbeyglou. “Then an official from the prosecutor’s office came to the hospital and talked to him and promised that his demands would be looked into. When my client heard this, he ended his hunger strike but said he would restart if nothing was done.”
Golipour, 30, was an employee of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Tehran when Intelligence Ministry agents arrested him in September 2012.
He is serving a 12-year prison sentence for the charges of “spying for foreigners,” “sympathizing” with the banned Mojahedin-e Khalgh (MEK) organization, “insulting the supreme leader,” “disturbing public order,” and “acting against national security.”
He has admitted passing information to US officials about Iran’s Natanz nuclear power site, Gharehbeyglou said in an interview with CHRI in May 2016. However, Gharehbeyglou noted that Golipour’s special medical condition entitles him to a case review.
“We want a ruling that my client is not fit to be incarcerated but Judge [Abolqasem] Salavati is not acting on this case,” she said. “Every time I go to the courthouse I am told he’s very busy and no decision has been made in favor or against our request.”
Continued Gharehbeyglou: “Meanwhile my client is getting sicker by the day. He suffered many seizures when he was hospitalized and he still has them every day in prison. I read his medical report. It said his condition cannot be contained.”
“My client was in the hospital with wrist and ankle cuffs for eight days surrounded by five guards,” she added. “He had many dangerous epileptic bouts, including one time when he was attached to a sonography machine.
She continued: “On the eighth day my client had an argument with a guard about the cuffs and said he would not stay in the hospital until they are removed. The guard lunged at my client and he got scared and fell five steps down the stairs. It was a really bad situation but they would not remove the cuffs.”
“Despite the recommendation by the hospital specialist Dr. Borhani, my client was returned to prison,” Gharehbeyglou told CHRI. “Even the prison doctor has said that he should either stay in the hospital or be released on medical grounds. He’s in a very bad situation. He’s in the prison clinic every day with a serum shot.”