Iran: Channel 4 'Dispatches' torture victim denied medical treatment in prison
Arzhang Davoodi, 46, was arrested between August and October 2003 and severely beaten after criticising the Iranian authorities in a secretly filmed television documentary Iran Undercover â€“ Inside the Hidden Revolution, broadcast on Channel 4 television on 2 December 2003. He spoke to a 'Dispatches' journalist about political prisoners and the death of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi who died in custody after she was arrested for taking photos outside Evin prison in 2003. Reports on the Iranian internet news site Peyk-e Iran state that Arzhang was tortured and held in solitary confinement for 100 days during his detention at Band 325, a prison facility run by the Revolutionary Guard. Arzhang suffered a broken shoulder blade, bleeding in his left eye, deafness, a broken jaw and broken teeth. A reported medical assessment required treatment of his eyes, ears and teeth, as well as physiotherapy for his shoulder, yet the authorities have allegedly provided no such treatment. During the winter, he was kept in a room with air conditioning turned on all night. According to his family, officials at the prison will not grant him permission to obtain medical treatment. Since 17 March Arzhang Davoodi has been detained at Salon 8 of Evin prison, a section of the prison that has no medical facilities. Amnesty International believes that this move is deliberately designed to prevent Arzhang from accessing medical treatment. Amnesty International UK Media Director Lesley Warner said: 'Arzhang Davoodi appears to have been brutally beaten simply for speaking to a foreign reporter. 'Amnesty International members around the world are urgently asking the Iranian authorities to end any ill-treatment and give Arzhang immediate and unconditional access to medical treatment. 'We are also asking why Arzhang Davoodi is still in prison despite the payment of bail.' Arzhang Davoodi's family has paid bail of 50 million Tomans (US$59,380) as requested by the Iranian authorities for his release. However the authorities are now refusing to release him claiming that his file is 'not complete.' Although he has been allowed to make telephone calls to his lawyer, his lawyer is not entitled to access his client's file until formal charges have been brought. It is presently unclear whether these charges have been brought.
Appeals on behalf of Arzhang Davoodi Appeals should be sent immediately to:
His Excellency Ayatollah Ayed 'Ali Khamenei,
Islamic Republic of Iran. Copies of appeals should be sent to:
His Excellency Mr Morteza Sarmadi,
Embassy of Iran,
16 Prince's Gate,
London SW1 1PT
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