The wife of a jailed Iranian dissident says her ailing husband’s doctor has warned prison officials that they are putting her husband’s life in danger by denying him medical treatment in a hospital.
Speaking by phone from Tehran to the Friday edition of VOA Persian’s NewsHour program, Rezvan Beigi said her jailed husband, Behfar Lalezari, has been struggling with asthma and heart problems.
“Despite numerous requests that (my husband) has made and the following up we have done, he has not been given medical treatment and they have denied him permission to go to the hospital,” Beigi said.
Lalezari’s wife said he has not been allowed a temporary medical leave since he began serving a five-year sentence at Tehran’s Evin prison last October.
“Even his doctor has told officials that my husband’s medical conditions could worsen if not treated immediately and that his life is in danger, so I am really worried for his physical state right now,” she said.
In a report published in March, exiled Iranian rights group Campaign for the Defense of Political and Civil Prisoners said Lalezari had been convicted by a Tehran court of insulting Islam and the nation’s Islamist leadership on social media. The group said he was first arrested in relation to the charges in 2014 and detained for three weeks before being released on bail. It said a court handed him a five-year prison term in 2015, a sentence upheld by an appeal court in 2017. He turned himself in to Evin prison shortly after that ruling.
In the March 2018 report, the rights group quoted people close to Lalezari as saying he had written an article criticizing Iran’s Islamist laws and constitution.
Iranian state media have been silent on Lalezari’s medical condition in detention.
This report was produced in collaboration with VOA’s Persian Service.