Iran: Imprisoned filmmaker granted 72-hour medical leave, back in prison
Freemuse has learned from its sources that filmmaker Hossein Rajabian was granted a 72-hour medical leave earlier in the week to address health problems that have grown worse while in prison. Hossein was taken back to prison after the three days were up.
Hossein and his musician brother Mehdi had been on a second hunger strike for 30 days demanding they both receive much needed medical attention. On 27 November 2016, Mehdi was granted a four-day medical furlough for his medical problems and was forced to return to prison on 4 December.
According to our sources, both brothers have had to stop their hunger strike as their medical conditions have deteriorated.
The brothers began their second hunger strike on 28 October 2016 in protest of their treatment after their first hunger strike, which lasted nine days in September 2016.
According to the brothers, in a letter they wrote from prison obtained by Freemuse in October, they were “tricked” into stopping their first strike when medical help was promised. They were also promised to be re-united in the same ward after they were split up for repeatedly asking for medical help for Mehdi.
The medical help never came. Mehdi and Hossein remain separated.
After that first strike, Mehdi’s condition grew worse and Hossein also developed medical problems that needed attention.
The Rajabian brothers were imprisoned in June 2016 for nothing more than creating art. We must remind authorities in Iran that art is not a crime.
Some of Hossein’s friends have shared the following video they made to continue to draw attention to his, and his brother’s, imprisonment.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Share their story, letter and video on social media using #ArtIsNotACrime, #FreeRajabian, #FreeMehdi, #Free_Hossein_Rajabian
- Reach out to fellow artists, decision makers, political representatives, family and friends to call for their release
- If you are an artist, take a moment on stage to remember that not all artists are free
- Share this video Mehdi Rajabian helped create after his sentence before he was jailed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56PpdbR0jtM
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