Amnesty International presented Monday a petition with over 12,000 signatures supporting Hamid Babaei, to the Iranian Embassy.This holder of a PhD from the University of Liège was sentenced to six years’ prison in 2013 for “breaching national security by communicating with hostile States”.
The petition was launched at the beginning of June. At the time, the health condition of Hamid Babaei was in decline and he required urgent care. “In Iran, the condition of prisoners is regularly placed at risk by authorities who disregard the medical needs of those detained. Depriving prisoners of opinion of medical care is cruel and absolutely indefensible,” stated Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme of Amnesty International, in a communiqué. “The possibility of prisoners obtaining health care is a right enshrined in international and Iranian law. Depriving a prisoner of medical care causes great suffering, and doing it intentionally with the aim of punishing, threatening or obtaining ‘confessions’ constitutes an act of torture.”
Amnesty International has also presented a second petition in favour of Narges Mohammadi, human rights defender condemned to 16 years of imprisonment for his work at a human rights defence centre. The petition collected close to 11,000 signatures. This action is within the context of a new report titled “Health taken hostage: Cruel denial of medical care in Iran’s prisons”, which evokes 18 cases of prisoners deprived of medical care in Iranian penitentiary establishments. In the framework of this report, Amnesty International proposes launching a new petition to be presented to Iranian authorities.