CHRI – Imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh started a second hunger strike on November 26, 2018, to protest the Iranian authorities’ refusal to allow ailing fellow political prisoner Farhad Meysami to receive hospital treatment, a source informed the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
Meysami’s imprisonment and the authorities refusal to allow him to receive proper medical care has resulted in the UN calling on Iran to guarantee the rights of Meysami, Sotoudeh and her husband Reza Khandan (also imprisoned), including their right to fair proceedings before an independent and impartial tribunal.
This is the second time in three months Sotoudeh has refused food to support Meysami, a human rights activist who is being held in a room adjacent to Evin Prison’s clinic and who was as of a month ago surviving on serum injections.
A 48-year-old physician, Meysami was arrested by agents of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry on July 31, 2018, for peacefully advocating against Iran’s compulsory hijab law. Upon raiding his home before arresting him, agents found badges that said, “I am against compulsory hijab,” which are now being used as evidence to convict him.
Meysami went on hunger strike the next day to protest his arrest on trumped-up national security charges and to demand that the authorities stop harassing his family members.
“Farhad Meysami’s life is in danger more than ever and he needs immediate treatment at a reliable hospital outside the prison,” wrote Sotoudeh’s husband, Reza Khandan, in a letter from Evin Prison on October 14.
“It has been more than 75 days since Dr. Meysami started this difficult and alarming hunger strike,” he added. “It has been close to three weeks since he was forcefully taken from a public ward to the prison’s clinic.”
Sotoudeh, Khandan and Meysami were all arrested during the summer of 2018 in a widespread crackdown on human rights activists and lawyers who have taken on politically sensitive cases.