Kurdish political prisoner Arsalan Khodkam, 48, faces the risk of losing his eyesight due to being denied access to medical care at Orumiyeh Central Prison in West Azerbaijan Province.

Khodkam was transferred to the prison infirmary last week due to a drop in his blood pressure.

However, an incorrect injection has caused his health to deteriorate further, putting his eyesight at serious risk.

Prison authorities have told Khodkam that if he pays for his medical treatment and posts bail of 110 billion rials – nearly 220,000 USD, he will be allowed to receive medical care outside prison and undergo eye surgery after approval by the prosecutor and the Intelligence Organisation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Khodkam, who has been imprisoned for over five and a half years, has suffered deteriorating physical and mental health as a result of harsh prison conditions, torture and lack of access to medical care during his imprisonment.


Khodkam, a 48-year-old from Mahabad, West Azerbaijan province, is a former member of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) who returned to Iran in 2002 after leaving the party and receiving a safe-conduct from Iran.

On 22 April 2018, Khodkam was arrested by IRGC forces, accused of “espionage in favour of the PDKI”, and was interrogated for 36 days in the IRGC’s 81 Ramadan detention centre at the Al-Mahdi base in Orumiyeh.

Interrogators also detained his wife, Nashmil Gheytasi, to put pressure on Khodkam and extract forced “confessions” from him.

Under psychological pressure and physical torture, the political prisoner was forced to accept the IRGC’s accusations of “having links with and espionage for the PDKI”.

Khodkam’s trial was held on 14 July 2018 in Branch One of the Orumiyeh Military Court without the right to a lawyer.

On the same day, he was sentenced to death on charges of “enmity against God” (moharebeh) and “espionage for the PDKI”.

Following the political prisoner’s appeal against the sentence, the case was referred to Branch 32 of Iran’s Supreme Court for reconsideration, but was upheld on 17 September that year.

Khodkam’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in April 2021.