Arzhang Davoodi, a prominant Iranian political prisoner is on his one month mark on a hunger strike in Iran’s notorious Gohardasht (Rajai-Shahr) Prison in Karaj, north-west of Tehran.
His is reported to be a frail condition.
On July 17, Mr. Davoodi went on hunger strike and stopped taking his medications in Gohardasht Prison in protest to the deplorable situation of fellow inmates.
Having announced his hunger strike, Arzhang Davoodi wrote a statement about the inhumane conditions of the prisoners and the widespread corruption by the regime: "I will not stop my hunger strike unless the prisoners' condition improves. The prisoners' condition must come under the spotlight by the international human rights bodies. The special rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council must insist on being allowed to visit the prisons in Iran and to inquire about the abnormal and inhuman conditions. The mullahs' fabrications and accusations, the lawsuits and the spread of corruption, addiction and other serious issues such as incurable illnesses must be revealed.”
He addresses Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, and all lovers of human rights in all international forums:
"After years of imprisonment and illegal charges made by the mullahs, with this action I just want to raise the consciences of all human beings to the inhuman conditions of the prisoners. The brutal prison guards in different prisons such as Rajai Shahr (Gohardasht) have made the prisons as a cemetery and slaughterhouse for our youths by importing goods and contrabands, including drugs. These drugs are the main sources of income for them in the prison system and I am ashamed to express the consequences of such crimes and the circumstances that now prevail on the prisoners."
Arzhang Davoudi added at the end of his statement: "from Sunday July 17, 2016 I will go on medication strike and hunger strike so that the world devotes attention to the current situation. I anticipate that I will be threatened and transferred to solitary confinement by the head of the prison, Mohammad Mardani."
Mr. Davoodi was arrested in 2003 and held in solitary confinement for prolonged periods during which he was tortured and denied access to a lawyer and his family.
He was sentenced, in March 2005, to 25 years’ imprisonment, reduced to 10 years on appeal, on charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “establishing and directing an organization opposed to the government” for his peaceful activities, including directing a cultural education center, according to Amnesty International. In May 2014, he was sentenced to an additional two years’ imprisonment, on the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader.”
Arzhang Davoodi was also sentenced to death for his political opinions and peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression.
He is believed to have been accused of having ties with the opposition People’s Mojahedin, or PMOI (MEK), merely because in prison he insisted on calling the PMOI by its official name, Mojahedin, rather than by the term used by the Iranian authorities, Monafeghin (hypocrites), according to a 2014 urgent action appeal by Amnesty International.