Iran: Outbreak of communicable diseases claim the lives of Ahwazi Arab prisoners

Owing to lack of sanitation, severe restrictions in access to health care, dirty and unsanitary environment of prison besides overcrowding of prison’s wards have resulted into outbreak of fatal contagious diseases among prisoners in Shushtar prison in Al-Ahwaz region, the prisoners’ families reported.

According to Ahwazna reliable sources from Ahwaz, an Ahwazi Arab prisoner by the name of Farhan Mohammad Taher has died last week in the Shushtar prison, after being infected with tuberculosis in his cell.

The mother of deceased prisoner said that his son, “Farhan was very healthy before he entered to the prison. However, after a short term in the prison, he started suffering from chronic coughing with stain of blood in his saliva accompanied with chest pain and breathing problems”.

The father of Farhan during his son’s funeral ceremony said that “due to insufficient medical facilities, doctor of the prison requested officials to allow Farhan to urgently receive treatment and screening on his chest out of prison. But the officials refused the doctor’s demand and neglected Farhan’s condition, leaving him and others to suffer to death”. 

“The doctor in early examinations of Farhan and other prisoners has alarmed the officials of emergence of tuberculosis’s symptoms and critical conditions of the prisoners. But the officials are turning a blind eye to the condition”, the mother of the deceased prisoner and other families’ prisoners claimed. 

The Shushtar prison like Karoon and Sepidar prisons, which contain around 100 political prisoners, are notoriously known for having a high rate of prisoners exceeding their space and their capacity by more than ten times. This has caused the prisoners to be concentrated into cramped spaces for long terms. 

Because of the overcrowding conditions of the prisons, the environments of the prisons have been turned to be so conducive places for breeding communicable diseases, infecting the prisoners, one after the other.

It has also been reported that some Ahwazi Arab family members have been infected with Tb during visit with their relative prisoners.
The Ahwazi activists have reported that there are dozens of Ahwazi prisoners suffering from tuberculosis and other chronic diseases in the Shushtar prison, but the prison administration refuses to allow them to receive treatment within the prison or transfer to the hospital for treatment.

In an interview with Mohammad Hattab Zaheri Sawari, the former political prisoner who has been freed from Iranian prisons after spending several years behind the bars. Furthermore, he has just fled from Iran to preserve his own life, has stated that “as an eyewitness dangerous diseases including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis run rampant in the Ahwazi prisons due to unsanitary conditions of the prisons. Moreover, overcrowding conditions of prisons have inevitably been caused the Ahwazi Arab prisoners to pass on their contagious diseases to other inmates”. 

He added that that “the run-down sewage systems, dirty latrines, multiple shares of razor blades for shaving between inmates, poor ventilation, and lack of access to clean water for washing and drinking are the main contributors for transmitting the communicable diseases among the Ahwazi prisoners”.

He went on saying that “releasing the prisoners who are infected with the above-said diseases have exacerbated the problem, as many of the Ahwazi family members of the prisoners contracted the same diseases from their relative prisoners who are carriers of the diseases like tuberculosis after living together”. 

Tb is an epidemic airborne disease and can be transmitted easily to another person through air therefore all family members of patients are more likely to be at risk of the disease. 

The Iranian occupying regime is currently detaining more Ahwazi Arab prisoners than ever (14,000). In fact, the occupying regime is spending millions of dollars to build more prisons to house more Ahwazi Arab prisoners, in order for the criminal regime to massacre them systematically by letting them be infected with fatal diseases, or fall into narcotic drugs which are more common in the Ahwazi prisons. All these crimes by the occupying regime are conducted in line with ethnic cleansing policies against the Ahwazi Arab people for years.

Photo: Washing and shrouding of a deceased Ahwazi, Iran.

Courtesy of Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights

No Associated files

Date: 05/11/2014




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