According to obtained reports, a political prisoner in Iran, Reza Joushan, launched a hunger strike on Wednesday, July 21, in protest to the intolerable and medieval prison conditions.
Reza Joushan, who is 25 years old, was arrested at his residence on December 1, 2009 during a raid by the agents of the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). He was initially transferred to the Revolutionary Guards-controlled ward at Tehran’s Evin prison, where he spent two months, after which he was taken to Ward 4. Six days later, on December 7, MOIS agents once again attacked the residence and arrested Reza’s mother, Ms. Zahra Asadpour Gorji. She was initially taken to Evin’s Revolutionary Guards-controlled solitary confinement cells, where she spent several weeks and was subjected to interrogations and physical and psychological torture. She was then taken to Gohardasht prison’s Women’s Ward in Karaj.
Political prisoner Zahra Asadpour Gorji and her daughter, Fatemeh Joushan, had previously been arrested for visiting their relatives in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, and spent 16 months in Gohardasht prison. They were released after they completed the inhumane prison term. On February 8, 2010, they were sentenced at the First Branch of Revolutionary Court by an individual named Asef Hosseini, who is the branch’s chief judge, to an inhumane and heavy prison term of one year in exile to Zanjan prison and four years in exile to Qilar village in Zanjan.
The translated text of Reza Joushan’s statement regarding his indefinite hunger strike is as follows:
I hereby announce that I, Reza Joushan, son of Mohammad Salam, have been imprisoned at Ward 17, deprived of visits and telephone contact, since April 10, 2010.
I am launching a hunger strike for the following reasons:
1. Uncertain future and failure to be transferred to the public ward.
2. Denial of the right to contact and meet with my mother, Ms. Zahra Asadpour Gorji, daughter of Habibollah, who is currently imprisoned at the Women’s Ward.
3. Lack of opportunity to meet and have telephone contacts with my family who are living out of prison.
These three examples are part of the fundamental rights of a human being and a citizen. I have also launched this hunger strike because although I have written to you (the prison’s internal director, Gerami) on various occasions I have not received any responses. Therefore, starting today, I will in complete physical and psychological health, being my hunger strike indefinitely until further notice. It is clear that unless the above conditions are met, I will not end my strike.
Political prisoner, Reza Joushan