Reporters Without Borders has issued a warning out of concern for the political prisoners on a hunger strike in the women’s ward of Evin Prison.
The group of prisoners, which includes three journalists and netizens Mahssa Amrabadi, Kila Bani Yaghoub and Shiva Nazar Ahari, have been on a hunger strike for over a week to protest against a raid of the prison’s women’s ward by guards who spent hours inspecting the prisoners’ belongings. RWB reports that: “After finding no forbidden items, the guards began to search the detainees in a degrading manner and to mistreat them.”
Following the incident, nine of the prisoners announced that they would begin a hunger strike in protest against this treatment, demanding a public apology and assurances that it will not be repeated.
In addition, jailed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh lawyer has also been on a hunger strike at Evin since October 17 to protest against the violation of her rights as a prisoner.
Reporters Without Borders says: “The Iranian authorities, especially the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, are responsible for the health and safety of all their detainees, and we will hold them responsible for anything that happens to these women prisoners of conscience.”
The press rights group goes on to add: “These women are not just serving long jail terms but are now also being subjected to humiliating and degrading treatment in flagrant violation of national and international laws. The international community must not remain silent in the face of the Islamic Republic’s many atrocities in its prisons.”
The other prisoners refusing food are Nazanin Dihami, Bahareh Hedayat, Jila Karamzadeh Makvandi, Nasim Soltanbeigi, Hakimeh Shokrian, Mahboubeh Karami and Raheleh Zokayi.
The latest reports indicate that Mahboubeh Karami and Raheleh Zokayi have ended their strike.
The Kaleme opposition website reports that the prisoners have been threatened that if they do not end their hunger strike, they will be confined to solitary and denied all visitation rights.
Iranian activists have issued a statement urging the prisoners to end their strike for fear of health repercussions.