Iran: appeal for prison hunger strikers

For the past two weeks, 17 political prisoners in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison have been on hunger strike to protest constant abuse; solitary confinement; lack of phone call rights and family visits; and lack of access to medical care, books and newspapers. One hunger striker, photojournalist Babak Bordbar, has been released. The remaining strikers include student activist Majid Tavakoli and human rights activist Koohyar Goodarzi. In addition to protests by the families of these prisoners, a group of political prisoners including Mansour Ossanloo of the Tehran Bus Workers Union and journalist Issa Saharkhiz have issued an open letter to urge an end their hunger strike. The letter states that “the democracy-seeking Green Movement needs capable forces and prolific youth like you to build a free Iran.”

The Green Convergence of the Women’s Movement of Iran also urged the strikers to end their strike in order to “achieve their ideals in full health.” Reformist leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have also expressed their support for the demands of the hunger strikers and have urged them to end their strike. (Rahana News Agency via Iranian Progressives in Translation, Aug. 9)

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    Five Iranian political prisoners including Mansour Osanloo, the leader of the Tehran Bus Workers Union, and Isa Saharkhiz, a reformist journalist, have written a letter calling on Brail’s President Lula da Silva to exert pressure on the Iranian government to release all political prisoners. (Iranian Progressives in Translation, Aug. 25)

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