Rough Body Searches on Visiting Children Prompts Hunger Strike in Rajaee Shahr Prison
Political activist Jafar (Shahin) Eghdami shaved his head and went on a three-day hunger strike on March 30, 2017 to protest “children being bothered during body searches in the visitation halls” of Rajaee Shahr Prison, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“Shahin’s brother has two small kids who insisted on coming to prison to see him,” the source said. “But the body searches conducted on them were so intense that they terrified the kids and they started to cry.”
“The prison authorities said the kids must have had something hidden on them and that’s why they were scared and so they should never come back,” he added.
Eghdami, 39, was arrested on August 29, 2008 by security forces as he attended a memorial ceremony in Khavaran Cemetery in south Tehran for prisoners who were mass executed in 1988.
He was sentenced to five years in prison for “acting against national security” and “collaborating with groups opposed to the state” by Judge Mohammad Moghisseh of Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court.
Upon appeal, the sentence was increased to 10 years in prison following the prosecution’s objection to the initial ruling. He is currently being held in Ward 12 of Rajaee Shahr Prison.
Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj, west of the Tehran, primarily holds prisoners convicted of violent crimes. However, more than 60 prisoners in Ward 12 were sent there after being sentenced by revolutionary courts for alleged crimes against the state.
Eghdami served brief stints in prison in 1998 and 2001 for his peaceful political activities, the source told CHRI.