After one year of struggling against cancer, Mehdi Fathi, an Ashraf resident, passed away this afternoon in Ashraf due to prevention of timely treatment

Mrs. Rajavi offered her condolences to Ashraf residents and all members and sympathizers of Iranian Resistance and held al-Maliki accountable for this tragedy

Today, December 10, 2010, at noon, Mr. Mehdi Fathi, a member of the PMOI and a brave resident of Ashraf, passed away following a year-long struggle against cancer because of obstructions made by Iraqi forces under the command of Nouri al-Maliki on his medical treatment causing several months of delay in his transfer to a specialist hospital which brought Mr. Fathi’s illness to the point of no return.

First time, on December 19, 2009, due to kidney problem he was hospitalized at Ashraf’s hospital which is under the control of Iraqi forces. However, due to inhumane restrictions by the Committee to Suppress Ashraf, which restricted his access to specialist doctor and hospital, his condition constantly deteriorated and subsequently led to extensive internal bleeding and he had to undergo emergency surgery.

The Ashraf suppression committee and the Iraqi director of Ashraf hospital cancelled his appointments in Baghdad on numerous occasions. His transfer to Baghdad to a hospital, where he could be examined by a specialist urologist took 45 days. Specialist physicians who had diagnosed him to have kidney tumor had emphasized that the patient needed immediate medical attention. However, under various pretexts, the Ashraf suppression committee and the director of the hospital prevented him for three months from being transferred to be hospitalized.

Finally, on August 22, 2010, after a delay of several months, he was transferred to the hospital for surgery and was immediately operated on. After the surgery, his surgeon who had seen the condition of the patient stated: “Due to delay in surgery, tumor has spread to all of the body rendering any surgery as ineffective.” In a letter his surgeon wrote: “Due to delay in his operation, the tumor has spread.” Physicians said that had he been operated on in the first few weeks, he could have been treated and the patient would have never reached this stage. A few weeks ago, when Mr. Mehdi Fathi was hospitalized in Baquba, 40 kilometers from Ashraf, he was in need of six blood bags. The hospital denied him this blood and the Iraqi officers prevented Ashraf residents from going to the hospital to donate blood. In his last few months, in addition to his critical physical condition, he was also under added pressure due to the ear piercing noise of Iranian intelligence agents using 140 loudspeakers near the hospital.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, offered her condolences to Ashraf residents, all members and sympathizers of PMOI and the Resistance and his family for the loss of Mehdi Fathi who was a glorious symbol of Ashraf’s persistence.  She described Mehdi’s resistance who was struggling against his illness and the anti-humane pressure of the mullahs’ regime and its Iraqi proxies as a silent epic, unforgettable and a symbol of the Iranian people’s resolve to achieve freedom. While stressing that Mehdi was a patient under torture because of the torment and pains he was enduring during the last months of his life due to lack of medical treatments, Mrs. Rajavi said that al-Maliki’s government and the suppression committee under his control are directly responsible for Mehdi’s death.

Reminding that there are many patients like Mehdi Fathi who are suffering from the anti-humane siege of Ashraf, Mrs. Rajavi called on the U.S. and the United Nations to undertake their responsibilities for protection of Ashraf and permanent monitoring of the situation there in order to avert further tragedies and catastrophes. She also asked all international communities and human rights organizations to condemn this shocking tragedy and to fulfill their responsibility for lifting the siege and putting an end to the round the clock psychological torture of Ashraf residents by using 140 loudspeakers.

The International Committee of Jurists in Defense of Ashraf, in a letter to Mr. Melkert, special representative of UN Secretary General for Iraq, wrote on August 20, 2010: “Mr. Mehdi Fathi… lost one of his kidneys due to the committee’s restrictions on hospitalization and delays in his surgery. Currently, he must be operated upon once again by a specialist surgeon as soon as possible. Otherwise, his life would be in serious danger. Despite this urgency, the Iraqi committee in charge of suppressing Ashraf is preventing his transfer under a variety of pretexts.” Mr. Fathi, in his many letters to UN authorities, including those on June 26 and March 12, 2010, had explained his cruel medical restrictions.
On December 1, in her speech in the European parliament, Mrs. Rajavi called on the authorities of the EU and in particular Baroness Ashton to adopt immediate measures to terminate the unjust siege of Ashraf, especially regarding access of patients to medical treatment, and to stop the psychological torture of Ashraf residents. One week earlier, on November 24, in a meeting where 5,000 French mayors declared their support for Ashraf, Mrs. Rajavi stated: “Mr. Mehdi Fathi who is suffering from kidney cancer is in a very critical condition and restrictions imposed by Iraqi authorities on his treatment has severely aggravated his condition in a manner that doctors have lost all hope.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
December 10, 2010

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