Iran 'toying with life' of dissident filmmaker: Amnesty

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Dissident filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad is being held in Iran's Evin prison, according to Amnesty

Iran is "toying with the life" of dissident filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad who is seriously ill in prison after torture which allegedly included multiple injections of an unknown substance into his genitals, Amnesty International charged on Friday.

Nourizad, who has written and directed several films, has been serving since August 2019 a prison sentence totalling over 17 years on charges of insulting supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to Amnesty.

Amnesty said his health has been deteriorating in Tehran's Evin prison due to "prolonged denial of access to adequate specialised medical care for his heart disease and diabetes".

Doctors have urged that he be admitted to hospital for treatment of a heart condition but the authorities have refused this so far, the rights group added.

"The Iranian authorities are cruelly toying with the life of" Nourizad, it said.

Amnesty cited a letter which it said Nourizad had written from Evin in April where he described how he had been injected with an unknown substance "eight times into my penis".

"I immediately wrote a letter to the head of the prison requesting that I urgently be sent to the Legal Medicine Organization for examination in order to reveal what substance I was injected with eight times. I have not heard from him since," it quoted him as saying.

Amnesty International said it was horrified that "he has been subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, including sexual violence and forced administration of chemical substances."

It also said that the lack of attention from the authorities had resulted in Nourizad resorting to self-harm in a plea for his demands to be answered.

His daughter said in a recording posted online that at the end of their prison visit in March 2021 her father made cuts to his face, head and neck with a razor, resulting in heavy bleeding.

Meanwhile, the authorities have also arrested his son, Ali Nourizad and have sentenced him to three and a half years in prison, Amnesty said, denouncing "an attempt to place further pressure on Mohammad Nourizad".

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