More than 95 Iranian social and political activists have issued a letter urging the women at Evin Prison to end their hunger strike out of concern for their lives.
While the statement commends their courage, the activists express grave concern that the lives of the prisoners may be in danger.
Nine political prisoners in the women’s ward of Evin Prison began a hunger strike six days ago, after they were subjected to a forced bodily search and inspection under harsh circumstances.
The prisoners claim they were insulted and “sexually assaulted” during the raid by the prison personnel.
The prisoners have called on the authorities to reprimand the perpetrators and issue an official apology to assure them that such episodes would never happen again.
The statement issued by the activists also calls on Nasrin Sotoudeh, the jailed Iranian human rights lawyer, to end her hunger strike. Sotoudeh has been refusing food for close to 20 days in protest of her mistreatment in prison and unacceptable restrictions on her visitation rights. She is also denied access to a telephone.
The activists promise to be the voice of these prisoners and communicate their struggle beyond the prison walls.
The judiciary has so far made no efforts to convince these prisoners to end their strike.