Today is World MS Day
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease. It is one of the most common disabling neurological conditions amongst young adults in the northern hemisphere, with symptoms often beginning to show when an individual is in his or her early 30s. Over 2,000,000 people in the world have MS.
One of those 2,000,000 people is Hamed Rouhinejad. Hamed is one of hundreds, if not thousands, of political prisoners currently being unlawfully detained by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hamed suffers from multiple sclerosis. And the Islamic regime refuses to allow him proper medical care to treat his condition.
Conditions in the prison where Hamed is being held are notoriously bad even for an otherwise healthy person. But for Hamed, under those conditions and without treatment for his MS, detention is a slow death sentence. The coroner’s office previously confirmed Hamed Rouhinejad’s weakening condition and the fact that he will not be able to withstand prison conditions.
As we raise awareness about the condition of Multiple Sclerosis on World MS Day, we ask everyone to take a moment to ask their local MS Society and the Iranian MS Society to issue an advocacy statement in support of Hamed Rouhinejad, demanding at a minimum that he receive proper medical treatment for his MS. Mission Free Iran advocates that all political prisoners, including Hamed, be freed.
A sample letter for you to send to Iran’s MS Society and your own local society is below, along with contact information for the Iran MS Society and several others (Canada, Germany, US). If your national MS Society is not listed there, please find it at the website of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation. The world must show its solidarity in finding a cure for MS, and we must show our solidarity with Hamed Rouhinejad.
To whom it may concern:
It has come to my attention that there is a political prisoner in Iran suffering from MS, yet the Islamic Republic refuses to allow him to receive treatment or appropriate medical care. His name is Hamed Rouhinejad, and his story is here: http://persian2english.com/?p=11010
I am writing to you to ask the National MS Society to issue an advocacy statement on his behalf, to bring attention to his situation and to the unspeakable inhumanity of withholding treatment for his condition.
Hamed needs support and advocacy; he will not survive without it. NMSS can bring attention to his case, and to the condition of MS, in a way that no other organization can.
I do hope that you are able to issue an advocacy statement on his behalf. Please let me know if you have any questions; I will be happy to assist in trying to ensure that Hamed is treated humanely and given appropriate medical care for his condition.
PLEASE SEND TO:
Iranian MS Society
MS Society of Canada National Office
Deutsche Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft
US National MS Society
San Francisco CA, USA Chapter
If your national MS Society is not listed here, please find it here:
Multiple Sclerosis International Federation.
Thanks to Jana Vadovic, Uli V. Sanden, Sohela Jandi, John Burke, Ahmad Fatemi, Stevie Miller, and all those over at Facebook who helped collect addresses and wrote to their MS Societies.
More about the condition of Multiple Sclerosis from the World MS Day website:
MS is the result of damage to myelin – the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres of the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves). When myelin is damaged it interferes with messages between the brain and other parts of the body. It can also result in permanent damage to the nerve fibres themselves.
Symptoms vary widely and include blurred vision, weak limbs, pain, bladder disturbance, unsteadiness and fatigue. For some people with MS, the disease is characterised by periods of relapse and remission while for others it has a progressive pattern. For everyone, life with MS is unpredictable.