FARASHGARD FOUNDATION CONDEMNS ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN MINISTER OF HEALTH'S SHAMING OF HIV PATIENTS

Farashgard Foundation condemns recent comments made by Mr. Saeid Namaki regarding HIV patients. During a speech on October 8th, Mr. Namaki stated that in order to fight corruption, the society needs to have "healthy humans…and a healthy human is someone who …doesn’t lie, pays their taxes, and does not become infected with HIV”. These statements by someone purporting to be a medical professional are simply unacceptable, They show a level of recklessness and disregard for human dignity. Becoming infected with a diseased is not a crime and should not be equated with corruption or tax evasion. Particularly, in the case of Islamic Republic of Iran the policies pursued by the Islamic regime have been a major contributor to the spread of HIV/AIDS. Less than two weeks ago news about an outbreak of HIV in a village near the city of Lordegan in Iran broke out. The victims included women and children. While the health officials have avoided providing clear answers, many believe that dirty needles used in the government medical facilities have been responsible for the spread of HIV in these villages. The level of anger against government officials handling of the crisis resulted in public protests in two provinces in Iran. The statements about HIV patients, made by a minister in the so-called “moderate and reformist” government of Hasan Rouhani, once again shows that labels such as “moderate and reformist" are simply false and are used with an intent to mislead the world about the true nature of the Islamic Republic. Mr. Namaki himself was appointed after several corruption scandals engulfed the previous minister of health. During Mr. Namaki’s tenor the pattern of corruption has continued unabated. Recently it was revealed that funds designated for import of medicine and medical supplies were diverted and used for other purposes, and that people with ties to the government have been selling the hard currency ear marked for medical purchases in the black market. Moreover, the government has continued to financially abuse medical professionals by delaying certain payments to service providers and medical professionals. Even Mr. Namaki has been forced to acknowledge the widespread level of corruption and financial malfeasance in the ministry of health. However, since he himself is part of the corrupt system, he has decided to blame HIV patients and associate them with corruption. While groups like NIAC that are closely aligned with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran try to blame western policies and sanctions for the medical problems in Iran, even the government officials in the farsi speaking media have been forced to acknowledge that many of the shortages and difficulties in obtaining medicine and medical supplies are caused by the corruption of the government of Hasan Rouhani. Mr. Namaki has previously stated that 97% of medicinal needs of Iran is produced internally and there is more than sufficient funds available to cover the remaining 3%. However the level of corruption in the Ministry of Health and other odious apparatus of government in Iran have resulted in shortage of medical supplies and have victimized many Iranians including women and children.
We urge Mr. Namaki and his sympathizers to apologize for such irresponsible comments attacking the dignity of the very people he is supposed to serve and care for.
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