Tuesday , 12 December 2023

Saeed Shirzad Ends Hunger Strike After Officials Pledge to End Rights Abuses at Rajaee Shahr Prison

Iranhumanrights.org – An informed source close to imprisoned civil rights activist Saeed Shirzad said Shirzad ended his hunger strike after 39 days when “Judiciary and Rajaee Shahr Prison officials met with him and gave assurances” about ending the abuse of prisoners—Shirzad’s main demand.

“On Saturday (January 14, 2017), [Rajaee Shahr] Prison’s supervising judge and the prosecutor’s representative came to the ward for political prisoners and, after some discussion, guaranteed that prisoners would no longer be beaten and insulted, and promised to investigate Shirzad’s demands,” the source told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “That’s when he decided to end his hunger strike.”

The source added that Shirzad has pledged to resume his strike if the officials renege on their promises.

The officials responded to Shirzad after his lawyer warned that they should listen to his client “before it’s too late.”

Shirzad sewed his lips shut the day he began his hunger strike on December 8, 2017 and only drank water through a crack in the stitches with a straw. The stitches were removed after he was rushed to Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran in critical condition.

His condition gradually deteriorated until he was urgently hospitalized on January 12 for a severe drop in blood pressure as well as stomach and kidney pains.

On September 12, 2015, Judge Abolqasem Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Shirzad to five years in prison for “assembly and collusion against national security” for helping the children of political prisoners pursue education. He has been waiting for a decision on his appeal request for more than a year.