The five Iranian-Arab political activists on death row in Ahwaz have gone on hunger strike, according to human rights sources.
The Human Rights Reporters Committee said on Friday March 8 that the five prisoners sentenced to death — Hashem Shabaninejad, Hadi Rashedi, Mohammadali Amourinejad, and Jaber and Mokhtar Alboshokeh — along with another inmate who is sentenced to 20 years in jail, Rahman Asakereh, began a hunger strike on March 2 in protest against the conditions at Karoon Prison in Ahwaz. The report indicates that the prisoners refusing food are no longer allowed to contact their families by phone.
The five prisoners on death row were sentenced to death last July for the charges of “enmity against God, corruption on earth, propaganda against the regime and against national security.”
Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Peace laureate, has issued a statement in conjunction with Iranian and international human rights organizations, urging the Iranian government to commute the sentences of these men.
The statement maintains that they were subjected to severe torture and coerced into incriminating themselves, emphasizing that confessions made under such conditions cannot be the basis of a fair sentencing.