Reformist Editor Vows to Remain On Hunger Strike Until Released from Prison
Imprisoned newspaper editor Ehsan Mazandarani will be on hunger strike in Evin Prison until he is released based on Iran’s New Islamic Penal Code, which allows prisoners to apply for early conditional release after serving a third of their sentence.
In a letter he gave to his wife that was published online by Saham News on September 20, 2016, the editor-in-chief of the reformist Farhikhtegan newspaper said he would begin his hunger strike that day and “not stop until my demands are met.”
“I am demanding my unconditional release given that I have served close to half of my unjustified prison term,” wrote Mazandarani in a letter addressed to Prosecutor General Jafar Montazeri.
Mazandarani is also demanding time on state television to respond to the allegations against him, the prosecution of “those who lied to the supreme leader of the revolution [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] and the public to conduct a political purge in the name of fighting foreign infiltration plots,” and the formation of a parliamentary fact-finding commission to investigate arrests made by the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Organization.
Agents of the Revolutionary Guards arrested Mazandarani and three other journalists on November 2, 2015 as part of an escalating crackdown on reformist and independent journalists. In July 2016 the Appeals Court reduced his seven-year prison sentence for “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the state” to two years.
Mazandarani was hospitalized on June 20, 2016 after suffering a heart attack due to complications resulting from the hunger strike that he had started on May 17 to demand his release on bail from prison until the Appeals Court’s ruling.