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Iranian Resistance calls for urgent action to save life of ill political prisoners on hunger strike

The Iranian Resistance calls on all international human rights organizations, especially the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner and Special Rapporteurs on Torture and Right to Life to take urgent action for the unconditional release of political prisoners who are in critical condition due to their hunger strike or suffering from chronic illnesses. The religious fascism ruling Iran has increased pressure on political prisoners and deprived them of their most basic rights, including the right to call family members, following up on their legal cases and a fair trial, and medical care and treatment, which are even recognized in the regime’s own laws.

Political prisoner Rasoul Hardani, suffering from MS, is in critical condition after being on hunger strike for 20 days. However, the criminal warden of Gohardasht Prison is preventing his transfer to a hospital. Hardani is on hunger strike protesting the authorities preventing his release. Hardani was only 17 years old when arrested back in 2000. In the 15 years behind bars he has endured harsh conditions in the regime’s prisons. His prison sentence came to an end on August 21, 2015, yet the torturers are refusing to release him despite the fact that the coroner’s office has issued an order declaring he cannot tolerate prison conditions. His cellmates in hall 12 ward for Gohardasht Prison issued a letter to human rights organizations and entities warning about the status of this prisoner and asking for urgent action to save his life.

Ms. Maryam (Nasim) Naghash Zargaran is a Christian convert imprisoned in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. Her physical conditions became very dire on her 17th day on hunger strike. She is protesting the unjustified jail sentencing and demanding her unconditional release. Ms. Naghash Zargaran had previously undergone heart surgery and is currently suffering from pains, chronic numbness in her spinal cord and joints, headaches, dizziness and various other illnesses.

The physical conditions of political prisoner Alireza Golipour, suffering from lymphoid and lung cancer, heart and breathing difficulties, is very dire. Ministry of Intelligence agents have been refusing to send him to a hospital despite the fact that his appointment for chemotherapy was passed; whereas the coroner’s office on July 13th issued a ruling for him to be released from prison.

Golipour is continuously under pressure by the MOIS to repent and take part in TV interviews. On July 10th, following his support for the Iranian Resistance grand gathering in Paris, the torturers summoned him once again and placed him under pressure to repent. The regime’s kangaroo courts condemned Golipour on charges of insulting the regime’s supreme leader, supporting the PMOI/MeK and the bogus charge of espionage. He has been sentenced to 39 years and 9 months in prison.

Authorities have on July 12th transferred political prisoners Massoud Arab Choubdar, already suffering from intestinal cancer and currently in chronic conditions, to ward 1 of Gohardasht Prison. This is a ward used for ordinary prisoners.

“Anyone who writes a letter in support of the PMOI/MeK must be transferred here, the ward of ‘eye for an eye’ convicts. We will do this until we make you feel ‘better,’” said a representative of Tehran’s public prosecutor’s office to this prisoner. Choubdar was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to 3 years behind bars. He is suffering from numerous illnesses, including severe headaches and epilepsy as a result of torture.

The physical conditions of political prisoner Afshin Baimani is very dire and his life is in danger. He is suffering from heart and lung illnesses. Following angiography tests he needs to be placed under urgent surgery, according to physicians. However, the authorities on July 19th had him returned to prison from hospital without receiving any medical care at all. 

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

July 21, 2016