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Mohammad Najafi, a human rights lawyer imprisoned in Arak Central Prison, Markazi province, suffered a heart attack on August 1, Human Rights Watch has learned from a source with direct knowledge. Iranian authorities promised that Najafi’s medical treatment would continue after his visit to an out-of-prison medical center, however since his return to prison he has been unable to continue as the necessary medical treatment is not available there.

Authorities first prosecuted Najafi in reprisal for his role in exposing a protestor’s death in custody in January 2018 and reporting that the victim’s body bore marks of torture and other ill-treatment. Since then, Najafi has been mostly behind bars and has faced several new charges for peaceful dissent including “propaganda against the state.”

Under the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, known as the Mandela Rules, prisoners who require specialist treatment should be transferred to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals. Prison authorities have stated that they are committed to addressing abuses after video footage from inside Evin prison showing serious abuses against detainees was leaked to media. Yet serious rights violations against dozens of prisoners including Najafi continue making such promises ring hollow.

Source: Human Rights Watch

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