Reporting by PMO/MEK
Iran, September 22, 2019—According to reports obtained from inside Iran, Soheil Arabi and Hamid Haj Jaffar Kashani, political prisoners in Evin prison, went on hunger strike in protest to the incarceration and situation of Farangis Mazloom, Arabi’s mother.
Arabi, photographer, blogger and civil rights activist, has been in prison since 2013 on charges of “blasphemy.” Iranian security forces arrested Ms. Mazloom in July because she had been actively defending her son and exposing the regime’s crimes.
Haj Jaffar Kashani, civil rights activist and football referee, has been in prison since 2018, and has been under difficult conditions since his arrest.
Arabi and Haj Jaffar Kashani declared their hunger strike in an open letter.
“Hear the sound of our protest. We heard your protests from inside this prison. We don’t want a tyrannical regime. By going on hunger strike, we political prisoners incarcerated in Evin prison will join the opponents of the dictators and we demand the overthrow of this tyrannical regime. Wherever we look, we see poverty, economic divide, and tyranny. Silence is complicity with the tyrants,” the Iranian political prisoners wrote in their statement.
“Sahar set herself on fire, Farangis cried out in protest, and we will take the sleep away from [the regime’s] eyes with our hunger strike,” Arabi and Haj Jaffar Kashani wrote in their letter, referring to Sahar Khodayari, a young woman who self-immolated in protest to the harsh ruling of a regime court that sentenced her to prison because she had entered a stadium to see a sports match.
“The agents of the fundamentalist regime have destroyed our homeland. Our people have been bearing the pain for 40 years. It’s time for freedom. Indeed, we learned from Sahar, Sattar, Gholamreza, Mohammad, Vahid and Mostafa, Saneh, and Alireza that to die standing is better than to live under tyranny,” the political prisoners wrote, referring to the names of political prisoners and activists executed and murdered by the regime in the past years.
Arabi and Haj Jaffar Kashani concluded their letter by declaring, “We demand the unconditioned release of Farangis Mazloom and other political prisoners and declare our hunger strike to all freedom-loving people across the world.”
Political prisoner Soheil Arabi embarked on a hunger strike to protest continued detention of his mother Farangis Mazloum after 2 months in legal limbo. #Iran #HumanRightshttps://t.co/O0NVdXVNOE pic.twitter.com/bWNjt9pVMZ— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) September 20, 2019
IRGC forces arrested Arabi in December 2013. He was initially sentenced to death. In July 2015, his death sentence was commuted to 7.5 years in prison. In October 2018, he was sentenced to another 3 years in prison and exile to Borazjan, southern Iran.
Arabi was recently transferred from the Greater Tehran Prison to Evin Prison after his mother was arrested. He recently released another open letter, in which he described the crimes committed by Iranian regime authorities in Evin Prison.
During his incarceration, Arabi has gone on three rounds of hunger strike in protest to the violation of his rights in prison. This will be his fourth hunger strike.