Italian Committee: Save Lives of Hunger Striking Political Prisoners in Iran

The Italian Parliamentary and Citizens’ Committee for a Free Iran expresses its deep concern at the serious conditions of 21 Iranian prisoners on hunger strike – many for about a month – in the Raja’i-shahr (Gohardasht) prison in the city of Karaj, west of the capital of Tehran, according to a 17 August press release by the group.

“Their protest denounces the inhuman conditions in which they are detained and how they are treated repressively by the prison authorities. On July 30, these authorities deprived them of their personal belongings (including essential medicines) and violently transferred them to another section of the prison with more worse conditions.”

“They are now subjected to constant monitoring with closed-circuit cameras and eavesdropping devices everywhere, without any privacy. Their cells have windows covered with metal plates and very little ventilation. The detainees do not have access to drinking water. They are forbidden to visit family members or have phone contact with them. A number of the prisoners have been kept in isolation for up to 12 days.”

“Among them are human rights activists, students, journalists, trade unionists, and followers of the Baha’i community – all condemned by political processes and not by the commission of common crimes.”

“The Italian Committee of Parliamentarians and Citizens for a Free Iran therefore calls on the Italian Government and the institutions of the European Union to ask the Iranian authorities to respect the lives and fundamental rights of the political prisoners, and to allow independent and effective international monitoring of their condition by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and other relevant international institutions.”

Meanwhile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) reported the health of these political prisoners, who are in Hall 10 of Section 4 of Gohardasht prison, has worsened. They have become very weak and are suffering from hypertension, as well as severe headaches due to lack proper air circulation in the isolated cells and the hall.

The authorities in the prison intensified the pressure on striking political prisoners after Tehran prosecutor’s shameless reaction to the extensive expression of solidarity with striking political prisoners inside and outside of the country.

“The judiciary would not succumb to the hunger strike of prisoners,” said Tehran’s general prosecutor, Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi, who is subject to sanctions by the European Union for serious human rights violations.

In many Western cities, Iranians have held rallies, as well as protest and hunger strikes, demanding international support for the demands of striking political prisoners.

Inside Iran, many political activists, political prisoners in various prisons, workers, and teachers have expressed support for political prisoners who are on hunger strike in Gohardasht prison.

International human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International and Hands Off Cain, have called for the rights of prisoners to be respected.

The Italian Parliamentary and Citizens’ Committee for a Free Iran enjoys the support of many Italian politicians, members of the parliament and senate, as well as human rights activists.