Rejai Shahr Prison

An Iranian-Kurdish political prisoner died last night in Rejai Shahr Prison in Karaj, human rights groups report.

According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Mohammad Mehdi Zalieh Naghshbandian had been transferred to hospital earlier this month for serious health complications.

The prisoner, who was reportedly a victim of chemical warfare during the Iran-Iraq War, was transferred to Rejai Shahr Prison after 18 years in Oroumiyeh Prison.

He had been charged with cooperation with a Kurdish political group and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Zalieh Naghshbandian had contracted lung disease as a result of his previous exposure to chemical gases and the lack of treatment in prison. He was held without any regard for his condition in Rejai Shahr Prison until two weeks ago, when his critical health problems forced the authorities to hospitalize him.

On May 21, Mansour Radpour, another political prisoner in Rejai Shahr Prison, died following a stroke. He was also suffering from several ailments before the onset of the stroke, and his medical needs had been ignored by the prison authorities.

Currently, several political prisoners, including human rights activists Nargess Mohammadi and Mohammad Seddigh Kaboodvand and blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, are in immediate need of medical attention, and several human rights groups, including Iran’s Nobel Peace laureate, have spoken out about their critical situations, urging the government to release the ailing prisoners without delay.