Human rights activists are calling on Iranian authorities to release several political prisoners that have been taking part in a hunger strike. The activists say that the three political prisoners, Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, Atena Daemi and Arash Sadeghi who are on hunger strike, are being imprisoned in dangerous and inappropriate conditions.
Ms. Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee who is today in her 68the day of hunger strike, received a six-year prison sentence for “insulting Islam”. She was arrested after police and suppressive forces entered her home and started to search it. They did not have a warrant for the search but carried it out anyway.
The agents found private and unpublished stories that she had written and they were used against her in court. A judge described her writing as offensive to Islam.
Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee is suffering from several medical issues including swollen legs and kidney problems. She has lost more than three stone.
She is currently being held in Qarchak prison – a building that once served as a chicken farm. There are hundreds of women imprisoned there and they are living in very unhygienic conditions. Overcrowding is exacerbating the problem and the prisoners are being denied the most basic of necessities such as proper ventilation and fresh air, food and potable water. The prisoners are also being denied medical care and essential medication.
The spread of infectious diseases is impossible to control and drug use is rampant. There are also reports of a high level of violence between inmates and attacks by prison wardens are a regular occurrence.
Arash Sadeghi, Ms Ebrahimi’s husband, is also imprisoned in Iran and participating in a hunger strike. He was handed a 15-year sentence for “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic” and for “spreading propaganda against the system”. He was punished for demanding that his wife should be sent back to the notorious Evin prison in the nation’s capital until she is released.
Another inmate, Atena Daemi, is partaking in a hunger strike.
Unfortunately, this has become a common occurrence over the past few years in Iran. Faced with the unjustness of their arrests and subsequent imprisonments, and the cruel torture they are routinely faced with, prisoners often feel that they have no other option.
To imprison someone for raising their voice against the corrupt leadership is just one more example of the regime’s brutality. The regime, in danger because it knows its end is near, is trying its hardest to silence the people that overwhelmingly want regime change.
At the end of last year, protests and anti-government demonstrations erupted in more than one hundred cities and towns across the country. The protests were initially against the government’s mishandling of the economy and the widespread corruption, but before long the people were chanting “down with the Supreme Leader” and “down with Rouhani”.
The Iranian regime is aware that it is unable to silence the people but continues with its campaigns of torture and arbitrary arrests in the hope that it will scare people. Deep down it knows that nothing will silence the people.