A spokesman of the student committee for dense of political prisoners tells Radio Farda that the hunger strike 12 prisoners led by lawyer Nasser Zarafshan, which began 20 days ago, will continue until their demands are met. Human rights activists in Iran and abroad have called for an end to the strike, which has endangered their health. July 24, 2004 - The hunger strike of 12 political prisoners at the Evin prison has entered its 20th day, and several of the strikers have been taken to the prison infirmary, including Omid Abbasqolinezhad, who refused the prison’s offer of a furlough, despite his grave condition,” Peyman Aref, a spokesman for the student committee for defense of political prisoners, tells Radio Farda’s broadcaster Farin Asemi.
“Three of the strikers, Omid Abbasqolizadeh, Peyman Piran and Dr. Farzad Hamidi are struggling with extreme weakness and bouts of unconsciousness,” he adds.
The prisoners went on hunger strike on July 4 to protest against the security forces raided the home of jailed student activist Peyman Piran, arrested his father, retired teacher and labor activist Mostafa Piran, and evicted the family from a state-owned rental apartment in which they lived.
“The health of lawyer Naser Zarafshan, who is considered a leader of the strike is not good either, and the prison officials pressure him to end the strike,” Aref adds.
“They wanted to transfer him and other strikers to solitary cells, but the strikers, along with other prisoners in cellblock one, resisted,” he adds.
“The strike will go on until the prisoners’ demands are met,” Aref says. The demands includes the immediate release of all political prisoners, as well as suspension of the eviction order against the Piran family. The striking prisoners have also called for prosecution of the perpetrators of the 1998 serial murders of dissidents by intelligence ministry agents.
“The strikers have also asked to be allowed to hold a press conference in jail, in order to complain about the illegal and brutal treatment of the prison officials,” Aref says.