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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 09 Tortured prisoner needs medical care
UA 120/19
Abgeschlossen am 28. Oktober 2019

Tortured prisoner needs medical care

AI-Index: MDE 13/1021/2019

Austrian-Iranian businessman Kamran Ghaderi is serving a 10-year prison sentence after a grossly unfair trial that relied on «confessions» obtained under torture to convict him of «co-operating with hostile states against the Islamic Republic». He was denied access to a lawyer and his family, and he needs ongoing medical care for a tumour in his left leg.


Kamran Ghaderi is an IT consultant and manager. Prior to his arrest, he had travelled to Iran in October 2015 as part of an Austrian trade delegation with senior Austrian government officials, including then Austrian President Heinz Fischer.

For the first three months of his detention, Kamran Ghaderi was held in section 209 of Evin prison, in Tehran, and taken to an unidentified detention facility for interrogations. After nearly a year in solitary confinement, he remained in section 209 but in a cell with another prisoner before being transferred to the general ward in April 2017. He has said he now shares a 25m2 space without windows with 16 other prisoners, which he has described as being like a «cellar». He has also said the space is infested with cockroaches, bed bugs and rats.

Kamran Ghaderi was denied access to a lawyer for over seven months following his arrest: from January 2016 until two days prior to his August 2016 trial before a Revolutionary Court in Tehran. This included the period he was undergoing interrogations and put under duress to sign pre-written «confessions» against himself, alleging that he was working for the governments of Austria and the USA. His conviction and sentence for «co-operating with hostile states against the Islamic Republic», a charge based on Article 508 of the Islamic Penal Code, was confirmed on appeal in October 2016. During a press conference on 18 October 2016, the former prosecutor general of Tehran named Kamran Ghaderi as one of three individuals sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for «espionage and co-operation with the government of America». A request for judicial review by the Supreme Court, which was filed in December 2016, was rejected. He has also been denied access to consular assistance from Austria.

Kamran Ghaderi has had several health problems since his arrest in January 2016. While he was held in prolonged solitary confinement, he experienced severe back and hip pain and, by May 2017, he was having great difficulty walking unassisted. He told his wife that, during this time, he required the help of other prisoners to go to the bathroom. This pain continued all throughout 2017 and into 2018. He underwent surgery on his spine on 12 February 2018, when doctors removed two intervertebral discs. Kamran Ghaderi spent nearly 62 days on medical leave outside prison. His doctor said physical therapy needed to begin six months after surgery, but it only began one year later and was terminated after just seven of the required 10 sessions had been conducted. Kamran Ghaderi continues to have pain in his back. An MRI scan in February 2018 showed that a pre-existing tumour in Kamran Ghaderi’s left leg had increased in size. His doctors in Austria had said it needed to be monitored every six months, but he has only had two MRI scans since his arrest, with his last MRI scan taking place in March 2019. He requires ongoing medical care for it.

Torture and other ill-treatment, including prolonged solitary confinement, are widespread in Iran, especially during interrogations. Under international law, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are prohibited absolutely, in all circumstances and without exception. Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran a state party, prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment. The Nelson Mandela Rules define prolonged solitary confinement as «solitary confinement for a time period in excess of 15 consecutive days».

Some Iranian laws lack precision in the definition of various offences, in particular offences against national security, contrary to the principle of legality enshrined in Articles 9 and 15 of the ICCPR. International human rights bodies have noted that arrest and detention based on laws that are vague or overly broad may be arbitrary under international law and standards. Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the Iranian authorities to repeal or amend, with a view to bringing into conformity with international law, vaguely worded provisions of the Islamic Penal Code that unduly restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, including Article 508 (see Flawed reforms: Iran’s new Criminal Code of Procedure,

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