Iran: Trade union leader collapses in prison
Posted: 21 December 2007
Amnesty International demands the immediate release of Mahmoud Salehi
Amnesty International today called for immediate release of an Iranian trade union leader who was rushed to hospital after collapsing in prison.
Amnesty International has received reliable reports that Mahmoud Salehi, a spokesperson for the Organisational Committee to Establish Trade Unions, was taken unconscious to Tohid hospital in Sanandaj on 11 December, after repeatedly collapsing in prison between 4-10 December as a result of his health problems.
Salehi has a long-term history of kidney and heart complaints. In May 2007, his doctor made a request asking for Salehi to receive specialist treatment. That request continues to be ignored.
Amnesty International regards Salehi as a prisoner of conscience and has ongoing concerns for his well-being.
The case is the latest example of the Iranian authorities continual disregard for the health of prisoners.
Following his admission to the hospital, Salehi received a brain scan. This revealed that blood vessels in his brain have been damaged.
His wife, Najibeh Salehzadeh, said:
'The physical health of my partner is extremely severe. One of his kidneys has stopped working and because of being deprived of proper medical treatment the other kidney is losing its functions. His blood pressure fluctuates and his blood sugar is surging.
'He falls unconscious about twice daily. The lack of treatment of his kidney has affected his heart as well. His feet and legs are swollen and the excessive injections of tranquilizers have seriously endangered his well-being.'
Shane Enright, Amnesty International UK's Trade Union Campaigns Manager, added:
'Mahmoud Salehi's life is at risk. He urgently needs proper and sustained treatment outside prison. The Iranian government must release him now.
'Amnesty will work tirelessly with our partners in the international trade union movement to secure the safety and freedom of Salehi and other jailed trade unionists and to challenge this callous and cruel disregard of Iran's humanitarian obligations.'