Thursday August 11th, 2010- Summary: The families of the political prisoners ask Tehran’s prosecutor:” How can we be sure of the physical condition of our loved ones after two grueling weeks of hunger strike? The only way we can be reassured of their well being is if we are given the opportunity to hear their voices, if they are transferred back to the general ward at Evin and when we are finally given permission to visit with them.”
Two days after the end of their hunger strike, the families of the political prisoners remain extremely concerned, waiting for any news regarding their loved ones. According to reports received from Evin, the 16 political prisoners who went on hunger strike for 15 days in protest to unacceptable conditions at Evin’s ward 350 remain in solitary confinement.
Keyvan Samimi, imprisoned journalist is still on hunger strike and has announced that he will continue until his colleagues are transferred to the general ward at Evin. The 16 political prisoners have also been deprived of meeting with their families for two consecutive weeks. As a result, the families are asking prison officials and judicial authorities why their loved ones are still in solitary confinement after 17 days and why they have been deprived of all contact with their families.
The concerned families have posed the following question of Tehran Prosecutor:” How can we be sure of the physical condition of our loved ones after two grueling weeks of hunger strike? The only way we can be reassured of their well being is if we are given the opportunity to hear their voices, if they are transferred back to the general ward at Evin and when we are finally given permission to visit with them.”
Fifteen of the sixteen political prisoners ended their 15 day hunger strike after receiving numerous messages from Green supporters, political and civil activists and many others concerned for their health. In a message addressed to the Iranian nation they said: “We will continue to insist on our human rights and the basic rights of all prisoners. We pledge to continue to fight until all prisoners who are part of our beloved nation gain access to their full legal rights.”
The following is a short overview of the latest status of the 16 political prisoners:
Keyvan Samimi, 62 years is continuing with his hunger strike despite the fact that his colleagues ended theirs 2 days ago. According to the family of this political prisoner, Keyvan has always worried about his prison mates and is an ardent “defender” of prisoner rights. Today, the family members of this imprisoned journalist are the ones extremely concerned for him. At Evin’s ward 350, Samimi has earned the title “Perpetual Protester”. Even though Samimi’s spirit is very strong and his prison experiences during the Shah’s regime have made him highly resistant to prison conditions, nevertheless, his family are extremely worried about his physical condition. Samimi has been sentenced to 6 years prison.
Jila Bani Yaghoub, Bahman Ahmadi Amouei’s wife expressed concern regarding her husband’s well being while he was on hunger strike and said: “Bahman is strong, but believe me, I have finally come to the conclusion that people are not made of steel and all this pressure will eventually have its toll. Humans are nothing but skin, bones and muscle. This type of pressure weakens both the body and the soul leading to his eventual destruction.” In the same statement, Bani Yaghoub spoke of her husband’s patience, a characteristic he is well known for amongst his prison mates at Evin’s ward 350.
A year has passed since the incarceration of journalist and head of the Information Committee at Iran’s Islamic Participation Front, Hossein Nourani Nejad. According to his wife Parastoo, this has been a year in which her husband has traversed many a path, leading him to a hunger strike as a last resort to achieve his goals. Hossein’s friends have been deprived of seeing him for one year. With the passing of each day, the date of his release approaches, despite the fact that he has had to spend the latter part of his sentence behind the walls of solitary confinement.
Abdollah Momeni is a student activist and spokes person for Daftar-e Tahkim Vahdat. He is kind and friendly. When he was released from prison temporarily, Momeni was repeatedly threatened to be thrown back in jail. This according to his wife because he refused to give in to his interrogator’s demands a fact that ultimately resulted in him being transferred back to the walls of solitary confinement without any news from him.
Majid Dari and Zia Nabavi are two “Starred” students at Evin prison. Even though they have both been threatened to long prison terms due to their activism, they nevertheless remain proud, taking advantage of a hunger strike the only resort left for political prisoners under pressure at Evin. Even though they had endured 15 days of hunger strike they still remain in solitary confinement. Zia Nabavi, refuses to think negatively even of his interrogators, always seeking to find excuses for their strange and ill behavior. According to his prison mates, if you ask Zia there are no ill doers in this world.
Ali Malihi, is yet another student activist in solitary confinement. His friends claim that Ali’s hunger strike for them is a protest against laughter. They have promised not to laugh until his safe return.
At 19, Ali Parviz, student activist is the youngest of the 16 political prisoners who were on hunger strike at Evin. His mother remains very concerned for his well being and awaits his safe return.
Hamid Reza Mohammadi, political activist, Jafar Eghdami, civil activist, Abrahim (Nader) Babai, civil activist are veterans of the Iran Iraq war. Even though very few people have spoke and written about them, in an effort to fight for their rights, they too deprived themselves of food for over two weeks and still remain behind the dark walls of solitary confinement. Hamid Reza Mohammadi’s mother is extremely concerned for her son’s well being.
Kouhyar Goodarzi, human rights activist and web blogger, is Parvin Mokhtareh’s only child who has traversed the Kerman-Tehran route many a times with the hope to see her son, even if for only a few seconds. Unfortunately, Mokhtareh has not even had the opportunity to hear his voice behind bars.
Student activist Majid Tavakoli’s mother, is no less concerned for her son than Mrs. Mokhtareh. Mrs. Tavkoli has been deprived of seeing her son for days. She lives in Shiraz, her only hope to once again hear her son’s voice; a voice she is sure remains strong, despite enduring a long hunger strike.
Gholam Hossein Arashi, Mohammad Hossein Sohrabi Rad and Peyman Karimi Azad were all arrested after the Ashura protests. Even though Peyman Karimi Azad suffers from diabetes, no one is aware of his physical condition as he too remains behind the wall of solitary confinement.