QCOSTARICA – Is Iranian-American Cyrus Anoushirvan Sepehr a victim of the Costa Rica justice system or of his own doing?
In the article by the Tico Times, we are told the story of 52 year-old Sepehr, who diagnosed in post-polio syndrome (PPS) in 2014, languishes in the San Sebastian (San Jose) jail, the left side of his body paralyzed and not receiving enough medical attention.
The article talks about the “inhumane conditions that exist in the prisons are worsening his health” and the inaction of prison authorities not complying with a Supreme Court ruling in his favour, stating that Sepehr is to be provided with proper medical attention or transfer him to a hospital.
But, this is not the whole story.
Sepehr’s problems with the law arises from charges filed by a former real estate partner is accusing him of fraud. In an article by Manuel Estrada of the Diario Extra, various investors in Costa Rica have filed complaints against Sepehr and an accomplice, fellow U.S. expat, Dan Cohanarieh.
Sepehr was arrested in Costa Rica upon arriving at the San Jose airport, on May 3, 2014. After being ordered to remain in custody for nine months for being considered a flight risk, Sepehr collapsed and was taken to the CIMA hospital, where he remained in custody of officers from Fuerza Pública (police), because his condition could not be treated in the jail.
On April 1, 2015, when he fled.
Although Sepehr and his lawyer say he left the hospital legally, authorities say otherwise.
In a report by La Nacion, Sepehr had fled to Nicaragua, where authorities in that country captured him a week later, on April 8, 2015, with false documents. He was returned to Costa Rica, on September 1, 2015. In Nicaragua he was held in the infamous El Chipote prison in Managua. In July 2015, the Diario Las Americas described the El Chipote as, “a dark place of torture in Nicaragua”.
According to the Tico Times article, Sepehr told Michael Krumholtz that not only is he being jailed unjustly because of his deteriorating health, but also that the fraud charge against him are baseless.
Friends and family say they will be holding demonstrations in several countries Tuesday morning (Jan. 19, 2016). Locally, a protest will take place outside the U.S. Embassy in Pavas (San Jose).