Activists Launch Urgent Global Action in Support of a Dozen Iranian Hunger Strikers in Evin Prison.
"United Nations, act before it is too late!"
On Friday major cities around the world are holding an urgent global solidarity event with 12 prominent Iranian activists who have launched an indefinite hunger strike in Evin prison since several days ago.Two of the protesting activists have already been transferred to the prison’s clinic.
In Toronto the event will take place at Dundas Square from 6:00pm-7:30pm. A group of concerned citizens, human rights activists, and students, from Ryerson University, York University, the University of Toronto supported by the United Student Front in Canada (USF), the Iranian Human Rights Society at York University (IHRS), and the Iranian Student Association at Ryerson U (ISARU), are the organizers of this action.
The organizers of the global campaign aim to bring into words the action of the 12 hunger strikers who are unable to get their voices heard by prison officials. The options available for Iranian prisoners to seek help for the abuses they endure are limited. The hunger strike is a drastic action by the political prisoners to convey a silent message of urgency for the newly appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur to immediately inspect Iranian prisons and the illegal and atrocious actions of Iranian authorities.
The event will also shed light on the Iranians who have been killed in their country’s post-election protests. The name of the global action is “From Neda to Haleh, From Sohrab to Saber”.
Neda Agha Soltan and Sohrab Arabi are two young Iranians who were killed for peacefully protesting on the streets, hoping for legitimate change. Neda’s bloody image and video of her death were widely spread on the Internet and from major media channels around the world. Haleh Sahabiwas an Iranian activist and the daughter of journalist and political activist Ezatollah Sahabi. She was killed by Iranian regime forces at her father’s funeral on June 12th. Journalist and political activistHoda Saber protested Haleh Sabeh’s death by launching a hunger strike in the notorious Evin prison, then, after being transferred to a hospital, he was beaten by Iranian authorities and died upon his return to prison. Now, the 12 political prisoners have also joined the protests; and with each passing day, they reach one step closer to death.
The names of the 12 prisoners are: Emad Bahavar, Ghorban Behzadian Nejad, Bahman Ahmadi Amouie, Abdollah Momeni, Hassan Asadi Zeidabadi, Amir Khosrow Dalirsani, Abolfazl Ghadyani, Feizollah Arabsorkhi, Mohammad Reza Moghiseh, Mohammad Davari, Former Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh, and Mehdi Eghbal.
Today’s reports indicate that six renowned political prisoners from Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj have also joined in on the hunger strike: Keyvan Samimi, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, Isa Saharkhiz, Masoud Bastani, Ali Ajami, and Jafar Eghdami.
According to Iranian law, prisoners have the right to have access to medical care, telephone calls, family meetings, access to books and newspapers, and prison furlough. However, these basic rights have been stripped away from many imprisoned activists and regular prisoners. Organizers are calling on the Iranian authorities to respect and put into action the basic rights prisoners are entitled to.
Activists urge concerned citizens, responsible media groups and organizations, and government heads to urge the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take immediate action for the hunger striking prisoners. Additionally, activists are urging Iranian authorities to receive the newly appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur and cooperate with his mission to visit the prisons and freely talk to imprisoned human rights and political activists without the presence of security agents.