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Iran: Political prisoners on hunger strike

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Iran, Digital Activism, Freedom of Speech, Governance, Human Rights, Politics, Protest
Relatives of the hunger striking prisoners protest in front of Evin Prison in Tehran [1]

Relatives of the hunger striking prisoners protest in front of Evin Prison in Tehran

Seventeen political prisoners began a hunger strike [2]at the end of July to protest deteriorating conditions at Tehran's notorious Evin Prison. Here is [3]the complete list of hunger strikers. Iran has arrested hundreds of journalists, human rights activists, and politicians after the protest movement emerged against the results of the June 12 presidential election in 2009 [4].

Mir Hussein Mousavi [5] and Mehdi Karoubi [6], the two main opposition leaders called on [7] the prisoners to stop the hunger strike. Iranian bloggers reported that Babak Bordbar, a jailed photographer who also went on hunger strike was released [8]today.

Several human rights organizations announced their concern for the health condition of the hunger strikers, especially the detained journalists, Bahman Ahmadi-Amouei and Keyvon Samimi, and student activist Majid Tavakoli [9]. These three individuals began a “dry” hunger strike on August 4.

Sight writes [10] [fa] about the indifference of the world towards the hunger striking prisoners in Iran. The blogger writes:

What happened? Has the voice of the political prisoners become weak or is the world sleepy?… Bahman Ahmadi-Amouei and Keyvon Samimi are my countrymen and their bones are being broken in Velyateh Faghie's [Iranian regime] undergrounds

23 Khordad, a group that claims to have emerged after the presidential election to support the Green Movement, says [11][fa] that:

We are concerned for the health of the political prisoners who are on hunger strike, and we respect their will to either continue or stop. But we object to the invitation of a reformist group, Jebheye Moshrekat, who is asking people to do political fasting to support prisoners. Yes to hunger strike, no to political fasting. Why is it that this reformist group wants to give a political colour to their hunger strike.

Arash Ashouri, a leading Iranian photo blogger based in Iran, writes in his blog, Kosoof, about one of hunger strikers [12]:

Bahman Ahmadi Amouee, a famous economy journalist of various reformist newspapers is in hunger strike nowadays in notorious Evin Prison of Tehran. Bahman, alongside his wife, Jila Baniyaghoub, a journalist and women rights activist was arrested after the disputed Presidential election in 2009. He was held for several weeks in solitary confinement in section 209 of Evin Prison without any official charges. Later, He was sentenced to 7 years and 4 months of imprisonment and 34 lashes in the revolutionary court.
Bahman Ahmadi Amouee, alongside 16 other political prisoners is in hunger strike in Evin prison, protesting against the terrible condition of section 350 of Evin prison and the harsh behavior of prison guards. Authorities do not let his family to visit him or have any contact with him and according to the sources from inside the prison, his physical health is in serious danger.