Mass Hunger Strike Launched in Evin Prison Against Unlawful Treatment of Political Prisoners
In an open letter calling on the people of Iran to support their demands, six political prisoners in Ward 4 of Tehran’s Evin Prison have announced that they’ve gone on hunger strike to protest the judiciary’s treatment of political prisoners.
The undated letter was posted July 14, 2019, on the official Facebook page of imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. Following is a translation of the letter by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
For many years, we have been witnessing intelligence authorities presenting political matters as security cases. There has been no [official] definition of political charges or political prisoners in the judicial process [law], and as a result, thousands of people have been put behind bars in prisons throughout the country on baseless accusations for their political activities. These are people whose only intentions have been to criticize [the state’s] actions in light of the deplorable economic conditions and the poor state of living in the country in recent years. They are serving long prison terms for objecting to wrong, unprofessional policies. The situation has become so bad that prominent patriotic experts and thinkers are being accused of crimes for opposing certain administrative decisions.
In addition, the State Prisons Organization’s regulations regarding the separation of political prisoners from other inmates are not being enforced, thus, from time to time, it has led to tragic incidents, such as the recent murder of the late Alireza Shirmohammadali in the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary.
Some of the wrongful actions of the judicial system include preventing political prisoners from having their own lawyers in the revolutionary courts, the long duration of the judicial process, which sometimes takes more than two years, the revolutionary courts’ arbitrary treatment of lawyers chosen by political prisoners, and handing down heavy sentences against political prisoners, including capital punishment.
As a group of political prisoners in Evin Prison’s Ward 4, we will start a hunger strike on July 15 to protest this wrongful pattern and the unsuitable conditions inside the prison. We will continue our protest until our demands are met.
We hope our weak voice will reach the ears of all the authorities and prompt them to investigate our just demands.
We also ask the honorable people of Iran to spread our message of protest to the whole world. We will always be thankful and grateful.
The protesters’ demands:
— Separate political prisoners from others, in male and female prisons.
— Grant conditional release to political prisoners.
— Eliminate the term “security” [in charges against political prisoners] and acknowledge [the existence of] political prisoners.
— Stop the arbitrary treatment of lawyers of political prisoners by revolutionary court judges.
— Allow political prisoners to have access to a lawyer from the start to the end of the judicial process.
— Nullify all death penalties and long prison sentences against political prisoners.
— Enforce reasonable bails as soon as possible until the start of the trial.
— Launch precise and appropriate investigations into the situation of political prisoners’ food rations.
Participants in the hunger strike protest:
1- Hossein Sarlak, sentenced to 12 years in prison, detained 30 months.
2- Morteza Nazari Sehdehi (Ashok), sentenced to 6 years in prison, detained 24 months.
3- Mohsen Aminpour (Kian Irani), sentenced to 10 years in prison, detained 16 months.
4- Ali Bazazordeh, sentenced to 2 years in prison, detained 18 months.
5- Behrouz Zare, sentenced to 2 years in prison, detained 12 months.
6- Reza Mohammad Hosseini, sentence undetermined, detained 2 months.