Iranian-Kurdish Prisoner Pleads: ‘You Are My Only Hope’

One of Iran’s longest-serving political prisoners has written a letter pleading for help after 81 days on hunger strike, Iran Focus reports. Mohammad Nazari was taken to a medical clinic after losing over 25 kilos whilst on hunger strike. His health has declined so much that he has lost his voice and can barely walk. He wrote a letter, shared on human rights websites and social media, lamenting his treatment at the hands of the Iranian Regime and pleading for human rights defenders to help him secure his release.

“I am the loneliest prisoner in this city [Rajaee Shahr prison]. Despite 81 days of hunger strike, no one has listened and helped me in this city. Now, in the 24th year of my imprisonment, I am alone, with no one to rely on. I am on hunger strike because I have no options left,” Nazari wrote. Indeed, he has no family left and no lawyers will take his case.

A source with knowledge of Nazari’s case to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that his life could “end in tragedy” as his condition has been mostly ignored by the officials. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said:

“He has been refusing food since July 30, [2017], to demand a review of his case that could result in his freedom. But he has no lawyer or family members to help him.”

Even his visits to the prison’s clinic have merely resulted in an IV shot or two, without any real medical help.

“He is in a very bad condition. He has all sorts of physical problems and emotional issues. Losing his teeth is the least of his problems caused by the lack of medical attention,” the source said.

Mohammad Nazri was arrested by Iranian security forces 24 years ago when he was just 23-years-old. He was sentenced to death on charges of belonging to a Kurdish political party Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) banned in Iran for claiming national rights.

His sentence has since been reduced to life imprisonment, but Mohammed Nazri says that he experienced something much harder than execution or life imprisonment; the loss of his youth and all his family and that he could no longer can differentiate between prison life and the freedoms of the outside, according to his latest messages.

His mother passed away during his time in prison and Iranian regime authorities did not allow him to be released on clemency even for a day to see her one last time before her burial. His father followed the same fate, as did his brother afterwards.

Today, Nazri sits in Kuhradsht Karaj prison and has only one sister left who does not have enough money to travel from Kurdistan to Karaj, which is hundreds of kilometers away.

The human rights campaign in Iran said that Nazri is suffering from psychological and physical illnesses. According to one report, the Iranian-Kurdish activist has not been able to taste any food other than that provided by prisoners during the past 24 years, where no one provided him with a certain amount of money to purchase his own, such as the fruits sold by the prison.

Nazari, an ethnic Iranian Azeri Turk, wrote in his plead:

“Help me reach my legal right to freedom that they have deprived me of. Anything other than my release, and I will continue my strike until I too pass away and buried in Bukan cemetery where my family is.”