Six more Iranian political prisoners have joined 12 prisoners who are on a hunger strike to protest the recent deaths of two political prisoners.

Kaleme reports that six prisoners at Rejai Shahr Prison in Karaj have announced they are lending their support to the dozen prisoners on strike at Evin Prison.

The new strikers include journalists Keyvan Samimi, Issa Saharkhiz and Massoud Bastani, student activist Ali Akbar Ajami, human rights activist Jaffar Eghdami and political activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi. Their extreme protest was triggered by the deaths of Haleh Sahabi, who died when her father’s funeral was raided by security forces, and Reza Hoda Saber, who died 10 days into a hunger strike that was in protest of Sahabi’s death.

Jailed journalist Emadeddin Baghi, one of the hunger strikers at Evin Prison, was released on Monday at the end of his sentence. However, Mohsen Aminzadeh, another prominent political activist jailed during the 2009 protests against the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has taken his place among the hunger strikers.

Iranian prison authorities have been accused by human rights advocates such as Shirin Ebadi of systematically abusing prisoner rights.