Iranian officials, under international pressure and facing domestic unrest, have reacted by increasing their pressures on activists. It is unclear how many are behind bars, but Human Rights Watch has documented dozens of cases of people who have been sentenced or detained for merely exercising their freedom of expression by criticizing the government and engaging in peaceful activism.
But sending activists to prison is just the start of their suffering in Iran, experience shows. Arash Sadeghi, 32, whom authorities have imprisoned repeatedly and harassed his family since 2009 is just the latest example of scores of activists who are being denied adequate medical care. In August 2015, branch 15 of Tehran’s revolutionary court sentenced Sadeghi to 15 years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the government,” “defamation of the supreme leader,” and “threatening national security.” His wife, Gulrokh Iraei, was sentenced to six years for “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the state.”
Sadeghi has suffered repeated medical problems in prison in Karaj, a city near Tehran. The authorities have transferred him to a hospital for checkups but never allowed him to receive full treatment.
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