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Iran: two female political prisoners on hunger strike

Iranian activists call for solidarity with two female political prisoners, Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee, who are in dire situation due to 13 days of hunger strike. They call on international human rights and women’s rights advocates to take urgent action to save the lives of the two political prisoners. The two young women are exposed to verbal abuse and harassment by prison authorities in addition to the effects of hunger strike. Since 10th February, they are on dry hunger strike, meaning that they refuse to drink water as well as eating.

Daemi is serving a seven-year prison sentence for the charges of meeting the families of political prisoners, criticizing the Islamic Republic of Iran on Facebook and condemning the 1988 mass executions of political prisoners in Iran.

Iraee, an accountant, is serving a six-year prison sentence for “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the state,” primarily for writing an unpublished story about stoning that was confiscated during a raid of her home by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. The raid was initially cinducted against Iraee’s husband, civil rights activist Arash Sadeghi, who is serving a 19-year sentence.

Iranian state has taken reprisal against Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee for declaring support for Iran uprising in late December and early January. On January 24, Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee were unlawfully transferred from Evin Prison to Varamin’s Qarechak Prison in retaliation for supporting the Iran uprising.

In Qarchak Prison, prisoners are deprived of the most basic needs, such as fresh air, drinking water, bathing facilities, medical care and proper sleeping arrangements.

Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee have been on hunger strike since 3rd February. They demand their own and another inmate, Soheil Arabi’s return to Evin Prison.

Political prisoner Soheil Arabi, blogger and photographer, went on hunger strike on January 24 in protest to violent treatment of Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee, after which he was transferred to Greater Tehran Prison.

On 13 February 2018, the mother and sister of Atena Daemi were arrested after being beaten by prison guards with batons while standing in front of Evin prison to show their solidarity with their loved ones. They were released that same evening.

Sources: Iran Human Rights Monitor, National Council of Resistance of Iran

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