7 prisoners in Rajai Shahr prison launched a hunger strike on Wednesday April 23rd in protest of the violent assault of detainees in Evin prison Ward 350.
Following is their letter as provided to Kaleme
Noble people of Iran,
The 1979 Revolution was not one event, but rather a long process in line with the demands and needs of the people of Iran. From the constitutional monarchy onwards it was not by chance that the slogans were liberty, justice and freedom; the leading ideal was the right of the people of the nation for sovereignty over their own future. Unfortunately in the years following the victory of the revolution, officials of the country have repeatedly violated the principles enshrined in the constitution relating to the social rights of the people. The judiciary has not only failed to conduct itself responsibly, but in many cases the institution has itself been the perpetrator of these violations of the law.
Attacking political prisoners, inflicting physical and psychological duress on them and their families is not unprecedented. The abuse of political prisoners by judicial authorities has become acceptable and criminal actions by security personnel in the prisons are routine. It is unfortunate that the officials of the regime do not learn a lesson from their actions that procure short-term results ending with long-term losses.
In the past there has been a lack of fair investigations or punishment for illegal and unethical actions such as the murders of the late Zahra Kazemi, Zahra Bani-Yaghoub, Hoda Saber, Sattar Beheshti, and the bitter tragedy of the violations and crimes that took place in Kahrizak detention center. Unfortunately we have not witnessed any fair probe into the violations and actions of the perpetrators of these vicious crimes. While increasing the gap between the regime and the people of the nation, the judicial authorities have become increasingly harsh and rigid in their dealings with prisoners of conscience and political prisoners.
With these circumstances, the events of Black Thursday opened up fresh wounds for the democracy-loving and freedom-seeking people of Iran.
In the wake of one week after the painful and inhumane event that took place in Evin Ward 350 – the vicious beatings resulting in the terrible injuries sustained by the prisoners and their forceful transfer to solitary confinement – no judiciary, administrative or security official has shown any type of responsible behavior. They have refused to accept accountability for these actions by fabricating deceptive lies in the official media outlets including Seda and Sima state television.
The head of the Prison Bureau who is officially responsible not only blatantly denied the events that took place, but he added insult to injury by ridiculing the inmates. The telling silence and lack of reaction on the part of the Minister of Justice and Intelligence Ministry is inexplicable and suspicious. It seems the gentlemen have forgotten the vote of the nation in June 2013 was “no” to lies, lawlessness, corruption and incompetence and “yes” to the demands of Iran’s Green movement.
Hence we, a group of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners from Ward 12 of Rajai Shahr prison in unison with our friends in Ward 350 of Evin prison, have launched a hunger strike beginning Wednesday April 23rd – in protest of the law-breaking behavior of the judicial and security institutions, and reckless actions of those in charge.
Jafar Shahin Eghdami
Saeed Razavi Faghih
Rajai Shahr Prison