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Rights Groups Say Iranian 'Political Prisoners' Denied Treatment

Demonstrators in Germany protest against torture and the execution of opposition protesters in Iran.
A spokesman for the Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says "political prisoners" in Iran have been routinely denied medical treatment, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Reza Moeni, the head of RSF's Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan desk, told Radio Farda on July 18 that "detention centers [in Iran] are not being supervised, hence neither local nor international norms are observed."

RSF and Amnesty International issued a joint statement on July 16 expressing concern about the health of such prisoners in Iran. The organizations believe the aim of the denial of medical treatment is to "put pressure on [the prisoners] and their families."

"We have demanded the immediate release of prisoners of conscience and immediate medical treatment for the sick ones," Moeni said. He added that such a denial of medical treatment was tantamount to torture.

Moeni said there were no exact statistics for the number of "political prisoners" in Iran, but that the number ranged between 400 and 600.

Many of them were arrested during demonstrations following the disputed June 2009 presidential election.

"Unfortunately, neither Amnesty International nor Reporters Without Borders have been able to be present in Iran and carry out [the prisoners' advocacy] in that country," Moeni said.