Iranian authorities have ended the medical furlough for an 86-year-old lawyer and prisoner of conscience suffering from leukemia and recalled him to prison, a leading Iranian activist told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“We request all international human rights organizations, and [UN Special Rapporteur] Mr. Ahmed Shaheed in particular, to take every necessary step to save Hasan Tafah’s life,” labor leader Mansour Osanloo told the Campaign.
“Reports received from prison and the prisoner’s family indicate that he is afflicted with leukemia and on the verge of death in extremely dangerous circumstances at Rajaee Shahr Prison,” he said.
Tafah, a lawyer born to Iranian parents in Iraq, was arrested by security forces in Iran in 2008 and charged with anti-state activities and spreading disinformation against the Islamic Republic. He was found guilty by Judge Salavati of the Revolutionary Court (Section 15) and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
However, Tafah has consistently rejected the charges and denied involvement in politics.
“He was arrested in 2008 because he had refused to cooperate with the Intelligence Ministry,” Osanloo said.
“He had a law office in Dubai and was considered a prominent lawyer. The [Iranian] Intelligence Ministry had asked him several times to use his office and connections in Dubai to purchase weapons and other material in violation of sanctions. He did not cooperate and for this reason they arrested him. We have lots of examples like this in prisons in Iran,” he added.
Osanloo, who has spent several years in prison for his labor activities as the head of of the public bus drivers union, recalled meeting Tafah in Rajaee Shahr Prison when he was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2009. The prison clinic was not equipped to treat Tafah’s condition and bad food worsened his health. Eventually, in the summer of 2011, the authorities allowed Tafah to go on furlough to receive medical treatment.
“Unfortunately I was informed that he was detained about 10 days ago and taken to Rajaee Shahr Prison,” Osanloo said. “I have precise information that he is in a very bad state. They did not even allow him to take his medications with him when he was arrested.”
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