The dissident Iranian poet and filmmaker Baktash Abtin has died of Covid-19 in hospital after being launched on a furlough from jail the place he was contaminated.

Abtin was transferred to hospital within the capital Tehran “however the remedy didn’t succeed and he died”, the semi-official ISNA information company mentioned on Saturday.

PEN America, a human rights group, mentioned on Twitter: “Covid is a pure killer, however Abtin’s loss of life was aided and abetted by the Iranian authorities each step of the best way.”

Abtin was additionally hospitalised final 12 months, when an image displaying him apparently shackled to a mattress brought on an uproar on social media, prompting the pinnacle of Iran’s prisons, Mohammad Mehdi Hajmohammadi, to tweet that these accountable had been “handled”.

Abtin, 48, who was serving a six-year sentence for “anti-government propaganda”, died shortly after PEN America and 18 different rights teams voiced concern over his remedy in a letter to Iran’s supreme chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Sadly, mistreatment of prisoners and denial of medical care is a systemic drawback in Iranian prisons,” mentioned the letter, posted on the web site of Human Rights Watch.

Iran denies any mistreatment and its prisons directorate mentioned Abtin was granted furlough 35 days in the past to be moved to a non-public hospital by his kin, state media reported.


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