Mohammad Habibi, Imprisoned teachers’ rights activist, is in poor health and is being denied the urgent specialized medical treatment he desperately needs for a bone tumor in his left forearm which has seriously enlarged while in prison.
Habibi who is currently detained at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, was briefly transferred to a hospital in Tehran in November 2018, to undergo more tests and a diagnostic surgery. But was returned to prison without receiving his needed specialized medical care. Khomeinist regime prison authorities are known for often refusing medical care as a form of torture, claiming that they cannot cover the medical expenses of prisoners.
Although back in March this year, Habibi’s family agreed to cover the medical bills for his treatment, the authorities have rejected repeated requests to be transfer him to a hospital where he can undergo exploratory surgery, to diagnose the tumor for malignancy. Reports indicate that it is likely cancerous.
Since his violent arrest in May 2018, Mohammad Habibi has also been experiencing severe pain in his chest and lungs, but the prison infirmary doctors have only provided him inhalers and nothing more.
Habibi, who is a member of the board of directors of the Iran Teachers Vocational Association, was first arrested in Tehran on March 3, 2018 in front of his students, outside the school where he taught. The IRGC agents pepper sprayed and savagely beat him during his arrest and transferred him to an undisclosed location where he remained in solitary confinement for approximately 16 days. He endured repeated interrogations and was subjected to torture, after which he was transferred to Evin Prison.
He was released on bail on April 15, but was re-arrested on May 10 after participating in a peaceful demonstration outside the building of the Budget and Planning Organization in Tehran.
On July 23rd, he stood trial before Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran which lasted only two hours. He was prohibited from having independent legal representation and the lawyer that he was able to talk to, was not provided to him until 10 minutes prior to his trial. Habibi was convicted of “endangering and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state” and “disturbing public order.”
In August 2018, he was sentenced by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran to 10.5 years in prison. On December 24, the Appeals Court upheld the conviction. The court also stipulated that following his release, he would also be subject to a two-year travel ban and two years of prohibition from participating in unions and political parties, and 74 lashes.