Human Rights Watch has issued a statement expressing concern regarding medical services available to Iranian political prisoners.

Following the recent death of jailed labour activist Afshin Osanloo and reports that detained opposition leader MirHosein Mousavi was sent to hospital, the rights group issued a statement on Thursday July 4 to draw attention to the plight of political prisoners in Iran who require medical care.

The report indicates that authorities cited a heart attack as the cause of death for Osanloo, who was 42, but the families of political prisoners are alleging that their relatives are being denied timely access to necessary medical care.

Mousavi has been under house arrest together with his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, since February 2011. They are being denied regular family visits, which further deepens the concern for their well-being.

Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, says: “Afshin Osanloo’s untimely death and Mousavi’s hospitalization both underscore the precarious conditions for ailing prisoners in Iran, especially people being held incommunicado. Whatever the precise cause of Osanloo’s death, the shroud of secrecy and the abuses to which Iran’s political prisoners are regularly exposed show the urgent need for far-reaching prison reform.”

The Human Rights Watch statement also expressed grave concern regarding the health of jailed blogger Mohammadreza Poursharji and jailed student activist Arash Sadeghi, who reportedly are both suffering from grave health complications.