Saturday, 01 October, 2022

Ataollah Zafar, Prisoner Of Conscience, Dispatched To Hospital


Human Rights in Iran – Monday, September 5, 2022 – Ataollah Zafar, a Baha’i citizen imprisoned in Evin Prison, was sent to the hospital due to his deteriorating conditions.

According to the report of Human Rights in Iran, on Sunday, August 4, 2022, Ataollah Zafar, born in 1944, a Baha’i citizen and prisoner of conscience jailed in Evin Prison, was sent to Taleghani Hospital in Tehran in an emergency, after deteriorating cardiovascular problems. This Baha’i citizen is serving his one-year imprisonment.

In an interview with the reporter of Human Rights in Iran, an informed source said: “Due to the history of cardiovascular disease in Ataollah Zafar, this 78-year-old Baha’i citizen experienced shortness of breath and chest pain. After being transferred to the hospital of Evin Prison, he was urgently sent to the emergency department of Taleghani Hospital in Tehran, and after performing the initial examinations including ECG (Electrocardiography) and transfer to the CCU, he was handcuffed and tied to the bed. Even his cardiologist in the hospital protested against this behavior of the officers, but the officers announced that they should be given an order from the prison to remove the handcuffs.”

It should be noted that Ataollah Zafar was arrested on August 29, 2022, after going to the sentence enforcement unit of Evin Prison to hand over papers and medical documents to refer his case to the Forensic Commission. This Baha’i citizen was then sent to Ward 4 of Evin prison to endure his imprisonment.

Ataollah Zafar was arrested by security agents on September 27, 2019 and was transferred to solitary confinement in Ward 209 of the Ministry of Intelligence located in Evin Prison for interrogation.  After going through the process of interrogation and learning about his accusation, he was released from Evin Prison in October of the same year by posting bail.

After completing the investigation process and being informed of his accusation, Ataollah Zafar was tried by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on the charge of “acting against national security through effective administration and activity in Baha’i organizations” and was sentenced to 1 year in prison.

By announcing the objection and referring the case to Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals of Tehran province, headed by Ahmad Zargar and Counselor Abbas Ali Houzan, on July 15, 1400, the initial sentence issued against Ataollah Zafar was upheld and the case of this Baha’i citizen was sent to the enforcement unit of the prison’s Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the circular of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Baha’i citizens in Iran are among the people without citizenship rights. Deprivation of Iran’s Baha’is in the form of sealing business premises, denial of the right to education from elementary school to higher education, destruction of their cemeteries and other holy places, and the imposition of other social restrictions are examples of these abuses.

On July 21, 2022, the World Baha’i Community had issued a statement warning about the increase in security pressures and the widespread wave of arrests, suppression and deprivation of Iranian Baha’is from their citizenship rights in Iran.

Also, On August 23, 2022, Amnesty International issued a request for immediate action, condemning the repression and applying security and social pressures on the Baha’i community of Iran, calling for an end to the repression of the Baha’is of Iran.

Suppression of religious minorities violates Articles 2, 18 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 2 and 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which emphasizes the right of individuals to practice religious rituals, carry out manifestation and religious education, either alone or in community with others and in public or private.

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