Omid Kokabee, an internationally recognized physicist serving a 10-year sentence in Iran, has not been allowed medical treatment outside Evin Prison despite his worsening kidney stone condition and stomach ailment, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Kokabee, 33, who has not been allowed furlough once in the four years since his incarceration (a customary practice in Iran but routinely denied to political prisoners), was among the country’s top students. A graduate student in Physics at the University of Texas at Austin, he was arrested on January 30, 2011 at Tehran’s International Airport as he was about to leave the country after a visit with his family.
He was kept in solitary confinement for over a month during his 15-month pre-trial detention. On May 14, 2012, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Judge Salavati for “contact with enemy states” and other falsified charges.
Imprisoned Student Denied Medical Treatment despite Severe Illness (iranhumanrights.org)
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“Omid has been suffering from kidney stones and stomach problems for a long time. His teeth are hurting, too. But even though doctors at the prison clinic have confirmed his need for treatment outside the prison, and despite many requests by Omid, so far there has been no approval for his transfer and his condition in the prison quarantine has worsened,” the source told the Campaign.
The denial of medical treatment, especially in the case of political prisoners, is endemic throughout the Iranian judicial system, even in cases where treatment is needed for life-threatening illness or injuries.
The source described Evin Prison’s quarantine, where many political prisoners from Ward 350 have been transferred to since August 12, as a basement without windows or proper ventilation. It has four rooms with a total of 100 prisoners and only four small toilets and showers. There is no space to walk or exercise.