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Call for the Release of a Group of Seventeen Iranian Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike

Wednesday 4 August 2010


International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH): The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) urge today the Iranian Government to immediately release the seventeen political prisoners who are currently on a hunger strike and are detained in solitary confinement in Evin prison, in Tehran.
According to the information received, the seventeen political prisoners have been on a hunger strike since 10 days in order to complain about their conditions of detention. The group is composed of students and journalists for the most part, including Mr. Majid Tavakoli, a student arrested on December 7, 2009 after he gave a speech calling to “stand up against tyranny” at the University of Amir Kabir. He was subsequently condemned to eight years’ imprisonment.

The other prisoners are Messrs. Bahman Ahmadi Amooei, a journalist, Hossein Nourinejad, a journalist and member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, a reformist political party, Abdollah Momeni, a student and Spokesperson for the Bureau for the Consolidation of Unity (BCU), a reformist association, Ali Parviz, a student, Hamidreza Mohammadi, a political opponent, Jafar Aghdami, a civil society member, Babak Bordbar, a photojournalist, Ebrahim (Nader) Babaei, a civil society member and a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, Kouhyar Goudarzi, a human rights defender and blogger, Keyvan Samimi, a journalist, Mohammad Hossein Sohrabi Rad, a political opponent, Zia Nabavi, a student, Ali Malihi, a student, Majid Dorri, a student, Gholam Hossein Arshi and Peyman Karimi Azad, demonstrators.

They were all arrested in the aftermath of the June 12, 2009 presidential post-election demonstrations. Some of them have been detained for more than one year in Evin prison, one of the most notorious detention facility in Iran. The seventeen prisoners are currently detained in solitary confinement within the 350 branches of the Evin prison, that is, constantly-lit two by two meter cells where detainees are frequently subjected to merciless interrogation.

The health condition of four members of the group deteriorated so much that they had to be briefly transferred recently to an infirmary, receiving only basic medical care, before having to return to their cells where they apparently continued their hunger strike. The health of the other hunger strikers is also very poor and deteriorates every day. Their families were not allowed to meet them.

FIDH and OMCT call upon the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release the seventeen hunger strikers, all in very poor health, as well as all other detained activists and human rights defenders unjustly detained since the post-election protests. OMCT and FIDH further recall that Iran is legally bound to effectively ensure the physical and psychological integrity of all persons deprived of liberty in accordance with international human rights law, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by Iran.

Furthermore, the Iranian authorities should put an end to violent repression and grave human rights violations related to the elections protests, in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as international human rights instruments ratified by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

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