numerous communications raising concerns about prisoners’ health condition in detention,
including other human rights defenders such as Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh. More recently, the Special
Procedures have called attention added health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, Mr. Arash Sadeghi5 was the subject of six communications from Special
Procedures, raising concerns about his poor state of health while in detention.6 The Government
only responded to four of them, and despite the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s
Opinion in 2018 which found that that Mr. Sadeghi is being arbitrarily deprived of his liberty, the
Government has not released Mr. Sadeghi as of November 2020. The most recent
communication from Special Procedures raising concerns about Mr. Sadeghi’s lack of access to
medical care was sent in September 2020: as of November 2020, it remained unanswered.
Mr. Farhad Meysami7 was the subject of a Special Procedures communication sent in October
2018 expressing “deep concern about the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Meysami
whilst in prison”. 8 The Government did not answer this communication. On 5 October 2020, Mr.
Meysami tested positive for COVID-19 while in prison and was transferred to solitary
confinement where he reportedly received minimal medical attention, despite his pre-existing
poor health state. Eight days later, Meysami was transferred back to the prison where he was
previously detained.9
Mr. Soheil Arabi10 has been imprisoned since 2013 and has reportedly been intermittently denied
medication although he has suffered from an inflammatory condition since April 2019. He has
also been pressured to pay for any medical care that he does receive. On 1 March 2020, Mr.
Arabi was reportedly denied hospital treatment despite suffering from severe coughing and
infection.11
The situation of Ms. Narges Mohammadi12 has been raised in six communications of the Special
Procedures since her detention in 2015. She suffers from numerous health conditions, including
those identified as high risk in relation to COVID-19; she nonetheless remained in prison during
the pandemic. While she was released in October 2020, she was denied adequate medical
attention for most of her time in detention.

5

United For Iran, https://ipa.united4iran.org/en/prisoner/1931/
Special Procedures Communication sent to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 8 September 2020, UA IRN
21/2020, https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=25522
7
United For Iran, https://ipa.united4iran.org/en/prisoner/4599/
8
Special Procedures Communication sent to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 3 October 2018, UA IRN 12/2018,
https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=24120
9
Front Line Defenders, https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/human-rights-defender-farhad-meysami-spends-eight-dayssolitary-confinement-after-contracting
10
United For Iran, https://ipa.united4iran.org/en/prisoner/1917/
11
Front Line Defenders, https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/continued-detention-iranian-blogger-soheil-arabi-andjudicial-harassment-his-mother
12
United For Iran, https://ipa.united4iran.org/en/prisoner/2340/
6

2

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