IRAN, On September 6, on the 38th day of the hunger strike of a group of political prisoners in the Gohardasht Prison in Karaj west of the capital Tehran, a number of families of these prisoners, and civil and political activists, while supporting the legitimate demands of these prisoners, expressed concerns over their well-being and urged them to end their hunger strike.
The families of these prisoners have emphasized in their statement: “Your rightful voice has come to the attention of the Iranian people and the human rights and international institutions and all of them in one voice have acknowledged your rightful demands.”
The families said in the statement:
“It's been a long time since you started hunger strike and closed your lips to food in protest of the inhuman and degrading circumstances of the prison, and we have witnessed the loss of physical power and the complications of hunger strikes, but what inspires us is your resistance and dignity in your standing for human rights of a prisoner. We salute you.”
“Because we regard you, our loved ones, as Iran's assets and its future, and beyond the emotional and family standpoint, we are asking you to end your strike at your discretion and adopt another way to pursue your claims.”
Dr. Mohammad Maleki, the first president of Tehran University after the anti-monarchial revolution, in a letter on September 6 titled “Why there are no hearing ears? Are humanity and morality and honor and freedom in Iran dead?” while supporting the demands of political prisoners in Gohardasht Prison, urged them to end their hunger strike, which lasted more than a month.
“The best children of the nation have been on hunger strike for more than a month; they are on hunger strike in Gohardasht, and the risk of death threatens their lives. I ask the dear strikers ..., I ask my brothers, the Mojahedin and combatant, to stop the strike, and I repeat this request for a number of times that you break your hunger strike and please accept the request of this old father, and make your friends happy, and be certain that all freedom-loving people in Iran and the world will pursue their rights and legitimate demands. Thank you all, your old and sick father: Mohammad Maleki – 6 September 2017.”
Also a former political prisoner and representative of the Syndicate of Iranian Teachers in Eastern Khorasan province, Mr. Hashem Khastar, in a letter to Ali Khamenei, leader of the Iranian regime, on the status of political prisoners and the social situation in Iran writes: “... I told you that the country is heading towards the revolution, but you still do not want to believe. A political prisoner on hunger strike is the cry of the Iranian people who say: “People of the world, the United Nations, and international human rights institutions, and the people of Iran, see how a nation is in captivity in the hands of the rulers who have made religion a tool to suppress the freedom of speech and the press and parties...”
Mr. Hashem Khastar during an interview on September 6 said that he was the voice of the political prisoners and called on the Iranian people to try to bring this voice to the attention of the world.
Meanwhile, on September 6 more than 400 civil activists, while supporting the hunger strike by writing a letter, expressed their concerns about this situation.
The civil rights activists’ letter reads in part:
“We, as a group of activists from various social and civilian fields (teachers, workers, students, women, etc.), announce that the demands of these prisoners are basic, legal and humane, and we support their demands. We believe that human dignity and the legal rights of prisoners must be preserved.”
These civil rights activists wrote to the regime's judiciary and prison authorities: “Before a human tragedy occurs, respond to the legitimate demands of these prisoners, and we consider the prison authorities, the judiciary and the government responsible for their lives.”
Political prisoners detained in Gohardasht Prison, which are estimated to be 53, were transferred early last month to the max-security section of Gohardasht prison. . In this section, even its toilettes and health care facilities are equipped with CCTV and surveillance cameras. There are unprecedented deprivations imposed on the inmates. The situation has forced political prisoners to protest. At least 17 inmates are now struggling in their 40th day of hunger strike in a complicated situation.