Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand To Resume Hunger Strike
Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, a prisoner of conscience who ended his 60-day wet hunger strike on July 27, told his family during his visit with them on August 27 that if the authorities do not address his requests, he will start a hunger strike and will not break it again. Kaboudvand ended his last hunger strike after authorities promised him that if he breaks his hunger strike they would review his request for furlough to be with his sick son.
“We didn’t hear anything after he ended his hunger strike. We learned later that apparently the Tehran Prosecutor did not agree with his furlough. I gather they are not going to give him furlough and that his hunger strike was not effective, either. Sixty days on hunger strike is no small deed, and it will leave irreparable damage on Mohammad’s body and soul; so will the constant stress and the psychological pressure we had during that time. It will be lethal if we have to go through it again,” said Kaboudvand’s wife, Parinaz Baghban Hassani, in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
In 2007, authorities arrested Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, Secretary of Kurdistan Human Rights Organization and manager of the publication Payam-e Mardom. A year later, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 11 years in prison on charges of “propagating falsehoods with the intent to create public anxiety” by establishing the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization. He has been deprived of basic prisoner rights such as furlough, in-person visitation, and suitable and timely medical treatment. Kaboudvand’s 22-year-old son has cancer and following a deterioration in his health, Kaboudvand embarked on his 60-day hunger strike to receive furlough to be with his son.
“His physical problems and kidney pain persist. Despite prison authorities’ saying that they would send him to a hospital for treatment if he broke his hunger strike, it didn’t happen and they keep injecting him with painkillers in prison,” Kaboudvand’s wife said about his physical conditions.
Since his 2007 arrest, Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand has not had a single day of furlough. “Mohammad has not requested a pardon yet, because he believes that he has not committed any crime…we just want all his rights as a prisoner to be observed, and for him to have the right to furlough. That’s all,” added Parinaz Baghban Hassani.
Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand began publishing Payam-e Mardom in 2003. The publication was available in Kurdish and Farsi languages in Tehran and provinces where Kurdish Iranians lived. In March 2006, he established the Kurdistan Human Rghts Organization. In 2009, he was chosen as the “International Journalist of the Year” by the British Press Awards and received Human Rights Watch’s Hellman Hammett Award.