March 22, 2021
Twenty-eight Iranian political prisoners have announced in a letter that they will be on hunger strike for the first three days of the Iranian New Year (from March 20-22) in protest against repression and in solidarity with the suffering of the Iranian people.
The letter, signed by prisoners of conscience currently held in Evin and Fashafouyeh Prisons in Tehran, and Adelabad Prison in Shiraz, directly addresses the Iranian people. “As a tribute to our joint pain and struggle for freedom, democracy, the elimination of discrimination and inequality, and the realization of human rights,” they wrote, “we will go on a hunger strike for three days from the morning of the first day of the 15th century.”
The political prisoners refer to events such as the killing of fuel carriers in Saravan, “repression, killings, and persecution of ethnic and religious minorities”, the death of dervish prisoner Behnam Mahjoubi, “the killings in November 2019, and the execution of prisoners such as Navid Afkari, Mostafa Salehi, Mohammad Salas”, as “examples of the brutality of the oppressors ruling Iran”.
They also state that they will be going on hunger strike “in memory of and respect for the countless sufferings of the hungry people”.
The letter goes on to mention the recently-reported deportation and transfers of political and ideological prisoners inside Iran. “There are many people in prison who have stood by us in this effort to reconnect with you, the people,” they wrote, “especially workers, teachers and retirees. But their exile, solitary confinement, and unjust oppression did not allow them to write their names on this letter for the Nowruz hunger strike.”
Among the signatories are Saeed Eghbali, Sina Beheshti, Peyman Pourdad, Hossein Jandaghian, Moin Hajizadeh, Keyvan Samimi (from Evin Prison), Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam and Kianoosh Abbaszadeh (from Fashafouyeh Prison), and Mohammad Davari, Sajjad Zare and Kasra Nouri (from Adelabad Prison).