June 12, 2019

Detained Iranian journalists denied medical care

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the Iranian regime’s inhuman and degrading treatment of imprisoned journalists. At least three – Narges Mohammadi, Soheil Arabi and Sanaz Allahyari – are currently being denied medical care and subjected to shocking sanitary conditions although extremely ill.


We call on Javaid Rehman, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, to take action to defend these journalists,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran/Afghanistan desk. “Denying medical care is a flagrant violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party.”


Against her doctors’ advice, Narges Mohammadi was taken back to her prison cell on 26 May after serious surgery (a hysterectomy) because the judicial and prison authorities refused to let her remain in hospital.


Her husband, Taghi Rahmani, reported a week later that she was being denied antibiotics and other medicine although “the latest medical test shows that the infection has spread in her blood.” The prison infirmary is still refusing to give antibiotics to Mohammadi, who is also a human rights defender.



Soheil Arabi, who was awarded the RSF Press Freedom Prize in the citizen-journalist category in 2017, sustained injuries to his genitals on 29 April after a clash between detainees and guards in Greater Tehran prison. He was taken to a hospital ten days later but was returned to prison because no bed was available.


According to his family, he was injured during interrogation about a letter he had written about the appalling situation in Evin prison, which is under Revolutionary Guard control.



The health of Sanaz Allahyari, a member of the editorial staff of the student newspaper Game, has worsened steadily since his arrest five months ago and is now the subject of great concern. Although he has many worrying symptoms, the authorities continue to refuse his family’s request for him to be hospitalized outside the prison.



Iran is ranked 170th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2019 World Press Freedom Index.