Iran: 60 yr old woman in prison for leading house church denied medical aid

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Sixty-year-old Christian prisoner of conscience Mina Khajavi is reported to be struggling

Mina

with pain and unable to access the medical care she requires inside Tehran’s Evin Prison.

The Christian convert, who has arthritis and walks with a limp, is serving a six-year sentence for leading a house-church. 

She began her sentence in January, having been deemed to have sufficiently recovered after being run over by a car shortly before she was originally due to begin her sentence in the summer of 2022.

Mina’s ankle was badly broken in the accident, and metal plates had to be fitted.

Now inside prison, Mina is still in pain but has not been provided with adequate care, according to a source close to her family.

Mina has reportedly only been given occasional painkillers, and no other treatment.

Prior to her imprisonment, Mina had been scheduled to undergo an operation on her ankle, but she was not able to attend.

She is said to find it particularly difficult climbing up to the second level of a bunk-bed in her cell to sleep at night. 

Mina was sentenced alongside fellow Christian convert Malihe Nazari, who also received a six-year sentence, and Iranian-Armenian pastor Joseph Shahbazian, who was given 10 years.

However, both Joseph and Malihe are now out of prison, having had their sentences reduced after retrials.

Mina is currently in the process of applying for a retrial in her own case, but any verdict will take time.

Mina was recently sponsored by a German politician, Gudrun Schittek, who demanded her “immediate release” and “the release of all prisoners in Iran who are imprisoned because of their religion, such as Christians, Baha’is, or members of other religions”.

Article18’s Mansour Borji said he was “appalled” that Mina had been forced to serve her sentence, given that she was palpably not in a fit state to go to prison.

He called for her “immediate and unconditional acquittal”, and for “Iran to end the harassment of the Christian community and to respect the November 2021 Supreme Court ruling that ‘the promotion of Christianity and formation of a house-church is not criminalised in law’ and should not be deemed a threat to national security”. — Article 18