Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike Supported by Fellow Prisoners Across Iran
Aug 28, Tehran: At least 21 political prisoners, who were forcibly moved to high security Ward 10 of Gohardasht prison in Karaj, along with other prisoners, have been on their 28th days of their hunger strike to protest their inhumane treatment. The section that they were transferred to include 40 cameras and six listening devices to each cell.
Members of the group who have joined the hunger strike have been put into solitary confinement and even had family visits withheld. The group is also dealing with poor air circulation, a lack of water and food, as well as security cameras throughout the ward, even in the restrooms and showers.
In backing of these prisoners, Arash Sadeghi, a political prisoner incarcerated in Evin prison, announced his support for their demands in Gohardasht prison, which is concurrent with their 25th day of the hunger strike.
“At least 21 prisoners are on hunger strike to protest their transfer, which is in contravention of the principles and standards of human rights and the rules of the Prisons Organization. During the transfer of these prisoners, the prison guards intervened and beat some prisoners. This is despite the fact that the prisoners’ personal belongings and even medication have been confiscated by prison authorities and have not been provided to them for more than 20 days,” said Sadeghi in his letter.
He also noted this is not an irregular incident, but part of a pattern of behavior from the regime. “Prison and confinement to keep the critics silent are the legacy of non-democratic governments,” said Sadeghi.
There were other political prisoner from different prisons in Iran supporting those on hunger strikes. Three women political prisoners in Tehran Evin prison also expressed their support for the striking prisoners.
The three women prisoners, Golrokh Iraei, Atena Daemi, and Maryam Akbari Monfared, underscored that silence and inaction are a political cover to continue the widespread human rights abuses in Iran. They urged the international community, the U.N. Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, and all political activists to take immediate action to save the lives of political prisoners on hunger strike.
“Protecting the fundamental rights of people around the world regardless of their nationality, religion and color, and protesting human rights violations is an important and valuable approach,” said the women in their letter. “But what is worrying about this issue is the deteriorating situation of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners in Gohardasht (Rajaei Shahr) prison, especially prisoners who have staged hunger strike to protest the repressive measures against political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Gohardasht prison, Hall 12, and today is the 20th day of their hunger strike.”
They also noted those critical of the government should not have to face “the worst reactions and undergo inhumane conditions during their imprisonment.” The women pointed out that some of the prisoners in question are in their second decade of imprisonment and dealing with serious health issues due to old age and illness.
This support is critical to those prisoners who are pushing for fair treatment from the regime. These are just a sampling of those standing up to the regime and this swell of voices is fueling the social unrest on a domestic level. The regime is ripe for peaceful regime change and the Iranian people are demanding more that the inhumane treatment they have received in the past.
A group of political prisoners of Ardabil Prison, Northwestern Iran also in a letter to the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed their support and sympathy with the prisoners on hunger strike urging the authorities to address their issues including the prison's poor condition.
Political prisoner, Ali Moezi, detained in Tehran's Central prison, wrote a letter announcing his support for the political prisoners on hunger strike in Gohardasht prison in Karaj.
In this letter, he recalled his memoirs from Gohardasht prison in Karaj, whose space reminds the memories of the martyrs of 1980s, particularly the martyrs of the 1988 massacre in Iran.
The political prisoner, Arzhang Davoudi also has gone on hunger and medicine strike since August 20, 2017, in Zabul Prison located in Southeastern Iran to express solidarity with the prisoners of Gohardasht Prison. He is suffering from diabetes and heart disease. He started his strike to support them and to protest also against the poor condition of Zabul Prison.
By Siavosh Hosseini for The Oslo Times International News Network