UPDATE IRANIAN OPPOSITION: POLITICAL PRISONERS' HUNGER STRIKE ENTER ITS THIRD WEEK
Tehran, Feb. 17 - A hunger strike by seven political prisoners in Iran's Rajaii Shahr prison near Karaj (west of Tehran) has entered its third week.
The hunger strike by the prisoners started on January 25 in protest to their confinement in the"dangerous criminals" section. Reports have surfaced that the political prisoners have been faced with assault and intimidation from murderers and other dangerous criminals.
The seven prisoners are Hojjat Zamani, Bina Darab-Zand, Arzhang Davoodi, Valiollah-Feyz Mahdavi, Mehrdad Lohrasbi, Dr. Farzad Hamidi, and Jaafar Iqdami.
Dr. Farzad Hamidi was assaulted inside the prison by a well-known drug dealer who threatened his life, prior to his hunger strike.
He was reportedly transferred to an unknown location within the prison, and his present fate remains unknown.
Hojjat Zamani, a member of the main Iranian opposition group, the People's Mojahedin, was reportedly threatened with imminent execution, as part of the pressure exerted to force him to end his hunger strike.
Zamani was reportedly threatened by an intelligence ministry official by the name of Sheykhan that he faced execution by the end of the current Iranian month, unless he both halted and renounced his hunger strike.
Bina Darab-Zand was imprisoned for taking part in human rights protests in front of the United Nations office in Iran last October. He was sentenced to five years and three months in prison and 60 lashes.
The protests were organised by family members of political prisoners outside the UN building in Tehran calling on the world body to condemn “torture being carried out” on their relatives.
The judge found Darab-Zand guilty of participation in an “illegal” demonstration.
Last summer many relatives of political prisoners demonstrated outside the UN building and several embassies, calling for foreign governments to stop negotiations with the clerical state.
At the time many political prisoners throughout Iran went on hunger strike in protest to the Iranian regime’s use of torture against its opponents.
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