After 19 Years in Prison, Political Prisoner Sews Lips and Starts Hunger Strike
An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Mohammad Nazari, a Kurdish political prisoner at Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj, has sewn his lips shut and embarked on a hunger strike since August 28, 2012, to protest the judicial authorities’ disregard for his request for release.
“On Monday, August 27, Mohammad Nazari sent a letter to judicial authorities objecting to his conditions and stating that over the past several years, his family has pursued his case in the Revolutionary Courts in Mahabad and Orumiyeh and with the Supreme Leader’s Office, and each time they have been told that he would be released. But recently, after his family’s latest follow-up efforts with the Judiciary, authorities stated that he should have been executed when he was first convicted of ‘membership in the Kurdistan Democratic Party,’ and that he is only alive because of the Islamic Republic’s kindness and forgiveness. In his letter, Nazari refers to the prison deaths of two of his Kurdish cellmates, political prisoners Mohammad Mehdi Zalieh and Zaher Mostafaee, who faced slow deaths due to officials’ lack of attention to their illnesses after enduring about 20 years inside Orumiyeh and Rajaee Shahr prisons. Considering Mohammad Nazari’s more than 19 years inside Mahabad, Orumiyeh, and Rajaee Shahr Prisons, he stated to judicial authorities that he is no longer able to endure this slow death, asking them to either release or execute him,” the source told the Campaign.
Boukan security forces arrested then-23-year-old Mohammad Nazari, a resident of the town of Shahindej in Western Azerbaijan Province, on May 29, 1994, on charges of membership in the Kurdistan Democratic Party. After three months’ detention in the Boukan Intelligence Office Detention Center, he was transferred to Mahabad Prison, where he was put on trial by Branch One of Mahabad Revolutionary Court on charges of “membership in the Kurdistan Democratic Party.” Six months later his case was forwarded to Branch One of Orumiyeh Revolutionary Court under Judge Jalilzadeh, and the court sentenced him to death. Despite appealing the decision, his death sentence was upheld. In 1999, Mohammad Nazari received one degree of forgiveness, reducing his sentence to life in prison. The source told the Campaign that after serving about 13.5 years at the Orumiyeh Central Prison, he and several other political prisoners were transferred to Rajaee Shahr Prison in November 2009.
“Two of this political prisoner’s cellmates who were transferred from Orumiyeh Prison to Rajaee Shahr Prison with him, Zaher Mostafaee [who died after 17 years in prison in March 2010], and Mohammad Mehdi Zali [who died after 21 years in prison in June 2012], became sick and died in prison due to a lack of attention to their treatment by authorities,” claimed the source.
The source also told the Campaign that on Monday, September 3, the head of Rajaee Shahr Prison, Mr. Moradi, and his deputy, Mr. Khadem, visited Nazari in his cell and talked to him about the reasons for his hunger strike, stating that his sentence is final and that they have no authority for a review of his judicial case. He was also briefly transferred to the prison infirmary for an examination on orders from the head of the Rajaee Shahr Prison that same day, and was returned to his cell, according to the source.