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10/27/09

Fears for life of detained Iranian Scholar

Urgent Action Request by Amnesty International

Dr Mohammad Maleki, a 76-year old Iranian scholar and former Chancellor of Tehran University, has been incommunicado in Tehran's Evin prison for 40 days. He is suffering from prostate cancer and other illnesses, and Amnesty International fears that his life is in danger.


Mohammad Maleki

Before his arrest in August, Mohammad Maleki had been receiving regular treatment for prostate cancer, which he has not been given while in custody. He also suffers from diabetes and an irregular heartbeat.  On 23 October, his wife, Ghodsi Mir Moez, expressed concern in an interview with a German radio station that his health is likely to have deteriorated. His family and lawyer were allowed to visit him once, on 14 September. Ghodsi Mir Moez said afterwards, "I noticed the doctor's physical condition had worsened and his hands and feet were trembling constantly and he did not have enough strength to stand on his own feet".  She also said he had complained he was "in severe pain and was suffering from an increased heart rate, low blood pressure, and a burning sensation during urination".

Mohammad Maleki is being held without charge and his two-month temporary detention order was renewed on 22 October. The officials who arrested him told Ghodsi Mir Moez that he was being investigated for stirring up unrest and for alleged links to the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, a banned opposition group based in exile. Many of those arrested have faced similar allegations.  However, his family have stressed that Dr Mohammad Maleki is not affiliated to any political party and did not vote in the disputed 12 June presidential election in Iran. He criticized the conduct of the elections but did not publicly express a view about any one of the four candidates that stood for election. He appears to be a prisoner of conscience, held solely for the peaceful expression of his views.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

Expressing grave concern for the health of Dr Mohammad Maleki, and calling for his immediate and unconditional release, as he appears to be detained solely for his peaceful criticism of the conduct of the Iranian presidential election;
In the meantime, calling for him to be granted all necessary medical treatment, including outside prison if necessary;
Urging the authorities to clarify his state of health as a matter of urgency and to grant him immediate and regular visits by his family and lawyer.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 7 DECEMBER 2009 TO:
Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street - End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email:  via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter (English)
http://www.leader.ir/langs/fa/index.php?p=letter (Persian)        
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: via website http://www.dadiran.ir/tabid/75/Default.aspx
Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO::
Speaker of Parliament
His Excellency Ali Larijani
Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami
Baharestan Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +98 21 3355 6408

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 233/09 (MDE 13/094/2009). Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/094/2009.

Additional Information

Dr Mohammad Maleki was in poor health at the time of his arrest on 22 August, suffering from prostate cancer, an abnormal heartbeat and diabetes. He was unable to walk unaided due to severe pain in his legs.  He was permitted to take medicines with him when arrested, but he has received no chemotherapy since his arrest.

Dr Maleki's personal physician, Hesam Firouzi, has also written publicly of the necessity of his release in order to receive treatment for his illnesses and expressed fears that his life is in danger while in detention (in Persian http://www.mowjcamp.com/article/id/46921).

The Iranian authorities frequently deny or delay medical care, including medication, to detainees as a form of pressure on them.

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