Prison news

Abtin was in jail on security charges and is the joint winner of the 2021 PEN/Barbey Free Writing Award.


Tehran, Iran Baktash Abtin, an Iranian poet and film producer sentenced to jail on security charges, died in a hospital in Tehran after contracting COVID-19 while in custody.

The 48-year-old was transferred from the hospital to the hospital. Evan Prison In mid-December, he was put into a medically induced coma one week before his death on Saturday to help him recover from a severe coronavirus case.


Human rights organizations claim that when he first showed symptoms of the disease more than a month ago, it was a waste of time for the authorities to provide him with medical assistance.

In joint letter The US PEN and 18 other NGOs published on Friday have asked Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to provide him with the best medical services and refrain from subpoenaing politics when conditions in Iranian prisons are not safe. Guilty serving sentence.


Abtin is a board member of the Iranian Writers Association. He was required to serve his sentence in September 2020 along with other members Reza Khandan Mahabadi and Keyvan Bajan.

PEN America jointly awarded the 2021 PEN/Barbe Free Writing Award to three writers in October.

In a statement after Abudin’s death, the organization in charge of Tehran’s prison stated that the writer was serving five years in prison for “propagating against national security.”


The organization stated that he stayed in the hospital for 35 days. During this period, judicial officials decided to give him a temporary probation, but the doctor was unable to save him.

In the hours after his death, tens of thousands of posts about Abtin flooded Twitter and other social media platforms.

A picture attached to many posts shows that when he was reading in a blue prison uniform, his ankle was locked on the hospital bed. The other showed that he was in a coma, and breathing tubes and other equipment kept him alive.


In recent weeks, with the support of nationwide vaccination campaigns, Iran’s COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations have decreased significantly, but the authorities have warned that the threat of Omicron variants is rising. An epidemic also broke out in Iranian prisons during the pandemic.

Translation: Baktash Abtin, poet, filmmaker, and outstanding member of the Iranian Writers Association, sacrificed his life for freedom and left us.Abdin’s [spirit] I live because the spirit of freedom and hostility to oppression are still alive.

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