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Amnesty Raises Alarm Over Fate Of Iranian Rights Defender 'Tortured' In Prison


Iranian rights Arash Sadeghi (file photo)

Amnesty International says the Iranian authorities continue to deny imprisoned human rights activist Arash Sadeghi access to urgent medical treatment, further putting his life at risk.

Sadeghi, a critically ill prisoner of conscience, "is being tortured through the intentional and purposeful denial of his access to cancer treatment, causing him severe pain and suffering," the London-based human rights watchdog said on August 13.

Sadeghi, who has been behind bars for more than three years, is serving two separate prison terms totaling 19 years for alleged "collusion against national security," "propaganda against the state," and other charges.

After months of delays, he underwent major surgery in a Tehran hospital in September 2018 to remove a cancerous tumor in his right arm, and returned to prison three days later, according to Amnesty International.

It said that without adequate postoperative care, Sadeghi’s health has "seriously deteriorated" with an infection developing in his right arm, leaving it "swollen, paralyzed, and without sensation."

Instead of addressing the causes of his condition, the authorities told his family to buy him strong painkillers, Amnesty reported.

Meanwhile, Sadeghi has been denied tests to monitor if his cancer has spread, the group said.

The activist is also suffering from digestive problems resulting from a prolonged hunger strike between October 2016 and January 2017.

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