#Human Rights
UN, Ban ki-Moon, OHCHR, Navi Pillay, Ahmed Shaheed, EU, European Parliament, State Department, HRW


Imprisoned journalist and political activist Serajeddin Mirdamadi is in need of urgent medical attention at Evin Prison’s infamous Ward 8, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Authorities are refusing to transfer him to the hospital to be treated for war-related injuries, including shrapnel lodged in his body, and he remains in the Ward known as one of the worst in Evin, which lacks minimal facilities such as beds.

“Serajeddin is 30 percent disabled due to injuries he received during the Iran-Iraq war. Before he entered prison, his doctor discovered shrapnel near his neck which had not been previously treated and recommended immediate surgery if he felt any pain or discomfort,” the source added.

“During his solitary confinement and after being transferred to Section 8, Serajeddin’s condition became worse day by day. The prison medical staff ordered his transfer to hospital for treatment but it took months before he was finally taken to Shohada Hospital in Karaj on March 1, in handcuffs and footcuffs. But the soldier who was sent along with him failed to take Serajeddin’s medical file, and the hospital had not been previously informed [about his visit], and therefore no specialist was available to see him at that time. As a result he was returned to prison a few hours later without receiving any medical attention.”

Evin’s Ward 8 is currently holding many more prisoners than it can handle. There is a shortage of beds and it is extremely cold because the heating system does not work properly, according to the source.

The denial of critically needed medical care, even in cases of grave injuries or illness, is routine in the Iranian prison system, especially in the case of political prisoners or prisoners of conscience.

“Despite numerous requests, Serajeddin still does not have a bed and sleeps on the floor, which he should not be doing, because of the injury on his right side. The shrapnel is lodged in a very sensitive spot between his neck and shoulder. He was on a list of prisoners in need of a bed but it is unclear why he has not been given one despite his war injury,” the source told the Campaign.

Mirdamadi was arrested on May 10, 2014, a few months after his return from France where he received a Master degree in communications. He was held in solitary confinement for more than five months in IRGC’s Ward 2-A at Evin Prison. In August 2014, Judge Salavati sentenced him to six years in prison for “propaganda against the state,” and “assembly and collusion with the intent to disrupt national security.”

His appeal is under review.

URGENT UPDATE JULY 28, 2014: Jailed Iranian journalist Serajeddin Mirdamadi was sentenced to six years in jail on Sunday July 27 at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court. The sentence, which was issued at a preliminary hearing, can be appealed within 20 days.

Mirdamadi used to reside in Paris and collaborated with a number of media outlets including Radio Zamaneh.

He returned to Iran after the election of Hassan Rohani and upon arrival at the airport, his passport was confiscated.

He has been charged with "propaganda against the regime, assembly and collusion to commit crimes against national security" according to his lawyer, Giti Pourfazel.


July 10, 2014--Serjeddin Mirdamadi, an Iranian journalist jailed since May has exceeded the legal limit for his “temporary detention” according to his lawyer, speaking in early July.

Serajeddin Mirdamadi’s lawyer, Giti Pourfazel, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the detention could not exceed one month. Nearly two months after his arrest, Pourfazel says her efforts to get Mirdamadi released on bail have been unsuccessful.

Mirdamadi has worked for newspapers Jahan-e Eslam, Toos and Hayat-e No, all which have been shut down by the government. He also contributed to Radio Zamaneh, an Amsterdam-based Persian language radio, while working toward a graduate degree in France.

Mirdamadi returned to Iran in September from Paris after reformist-backed Hassan Rouhani was elected president. When he and his wife arrived at Tehran’s airport, security confiscated their passports. He was charged Jan. 8 for “propaganda against the regime” in a Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Pourfazel argued that Mirdamadi’s case be moved to provincial court instead and be heard in the presence of the press jury. After the judged ruled that his January case had not been adequately filed, Mirdamadi was summoned to another court.

When he appeared before a regional court May 10, he was arrested and transferred to prison. Pourfazel told the New York-based ICHRI that she had not been allowed to read the most recent charges against him but that it appeared that a charge of “assembly and collusion against national security had also been added to his file.

On July 9 it was reported that eighty-two Iranian journalists had spoken out against the continued detention of Serajeddin Mirdamadi, an Iranian journalist who has been in custody since May 10.

Kaleme reports that a statement from the journalists denounces Mirdamadi’s continued arrest and the judiciary’s refusal to release him.

They write that his continued detention is a “violation of the promises” made by President Hassan Rohani, who during his campaign had welcomed the return of Iranians from abroad.

Unfortunately, several recent cases have seemed to indicate that hardline elements within the Islamic Republic of Iran's Judiciary, Intelligence Ministry and Revolutionary Guard Corps are making a point of arresting and sentencing journalists and reformist activists who return to Iran from exile abroad. The infamous Judge Salavati as much as announced in a recent verdict that this is meant to be a warning to other "enemies" of the regime to stay out of Iran.

WHEREAS: Iranian journalist Serjeddin Mirdamadi has been sentenced to six years in prison after having been ILLEGALLY detained without charges prior to that, in violation of both international and Iranian law;

AND WHEREAS: The six-year prison sentence imposed upon Serjeddin Mirdamadi is also ILLEGAL insofar as it is solely the result of his peaceful pursuit of his journalistic profession and thus violates Articles 18 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (to which Iran is a signatory) as well as Article 24 of the Iranian Constitution;

AND WHEREAS: Outrageously, this Iranian war veteran is being kept in one of Evin Prison's most notoriously awful wards and is DENIED needed medical treatment for serious war wounds--which is ILLEGAL even under Islamic Republic of Iran's own prison regulations;

THEREFORE: We, the undersigned, demand that the international community at all levels bring all possible pressure to bear upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to live up to its human rights obligations under both international and Iranian law by IMMEDIATELY and UNCONDTIONALLY releasing Serjeddin, reversing the illegal verdict, and dropping all (equally illegal) charges against him. We FURTHER demand that he be IMMEDIATELY provided all needed medical care!

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The Free Iranian Journalist Serajeddin Mirdamadi petition to UN, Ban ki-Moon, OHCHR, Navi Pillay, Ahmed Shaheed, EU, European Parliament, State Department, HRW was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.