Iran: Imprisoned Human Rights Defender in Urgent Need of Medical Treatment

Sept. 28, 2017, 10:22 p.m.

Iran Human Rights (SEPT 27 2017): The imprisoned human rights defender, Athena Daemi, was transferred to a hospital for a gallbladder removal surgery but was sent back to prison without having the surgery done because she refused to be in handcuffs and shackles. Iran Human Rights (IHR) calls for the unconditional release and immediate treatment of Athena Daemi.

According to a close source, Athena Daemi, an imprisoned human rights defender in women’s ward of Evin Prison, was supposed to have a gallbladder removal surgery at Imam Khomeini Hospital on Monday September 25. But she was returned to prison because she had to be in handcuffs and shackles during the time she was hospitalized. This was despite the fact that the Prosecutor’s Representative had promised that she wouldn’t be in handcuffs and shackles during her treatment.

“They (the authorities) say that prison regulations require them to do so, although female prisoners who are imprisoned for non-political crimes are sent to hospital without handcuffs and shackles,” Said Masume Nemati, Athena’s mother, to IHR.

She also said, “Athena got sick when she went on hunger strike and the doctor diagnosed her condition and said that she needed to be hospitalized. But the head of the clinic and the warden didn’t allow it to happen. Instead, they opened a new case against Athena her after she got into an argument with the head of the clinic. In this case, the head of the clinic and the warden are the plaintiffs.”

She added, “Since Athena’s condition had deteriorated and she needed to have a surgery, we tried to do something about it. We got letters from several doctors and gave them to the Prosecutor. Finally, the authorities allowed Athena to be sent to a hospital outside the prison for surgery. To our surprise, when we took Athena to the hospital, we saw that it was noted on the dispatch sheet that she should be in handcuffs and shackles during her treatment. Athena rejected their condition and, therefore, she was sent back to prison without getting treatment. Athena’s doctor has warned that her condition is serious and without treatment her gallbladder might rupture.”


Athena Daemi, a 30-year-old human rights defender, was arrested on October 21, 2014 and was interrogated for 86 days in solitary confinement Ward AA (do Alef). After the interrogations were finished, she was transferred to women’s ward of Evin Prison on January 18, 2015. In the end, because of her peaceful activism, Athena was charged with "Propaganda against the system", "Gathering and colluding against national security", "Insulting the Supreme Leadership", "Insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic", and "Concealing evidence of a crime" and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Athena was released from the women’s ward of Evin Prison with the ruling of the Appeal Judge on February 14, 2015 and her sentence was reduced to 7 years in the Appeal Court, and based on Article 134 she should spend 5 years in prison.

Iran Human Rights calls for the unconditional release of Athena Daemi who was imprisoned solely for her civil and peaceful activities and the imprisonment sentence was imposed to her partly because of her work against the death penalty in Iran.