On Wednesday 2nd October, anarchists will hold protest in solidarity with Iranian political prisoners Soheil Arabi and Haj Jaffar Kashani.
Soheil Arabi and Haj Jaffar Kashani are both held in the infamous Evin prison, located north of Tehran. On Friday 20th September, they began a hunger strike to protest continued detention and situation of Arabi’s mother Farangis Mazloum.
Farangis Mazloum was arrested on July 2019 and is currently held at the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence’s detention centre in Evin Prison. Her only “crime” seems to be publicly defending her son. To protest her detention, on 16th August 2019 she started a hunger strike.
Soheil Arabi, an Iranian trade unionist, anarcho-syndicalist, blogger and photojournalist, was arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) agents at his home in Tehran on November 2013. He was subsequently charged with insulting the Prophet Mohammad in his postings on social media about Atena Daemi: a human rights activist and another political prisoner in Iran. In August 2014, Arabi was sentenced to death. Additionally, in September 2014, Arabi was sentenced to three years on charges of “insulting the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and “propaganda against the state” in his postings on Facebook. Later, Arabi’s sentences were commuted to seven and a half-year imprisonment, as well as hand-copying thirteen Shi’a textbooks and studying Shi’ism.
During his detention, Soheil had experienced prison torture. Most recently, he was summoned, interrogated and severely beaten for his connection with the letter he wrote from the Greater Tehran Prison about the condition of the prisoners in Fashafoyeh “Greater Tehran” Prison. In result, he has suffered an injury to his testicular area. Following the hospital visit, he was returned to prison without treatment. He was also denied access to a telephone and visitors.
Haj Jaffar Kashani, who is a civil rights activist and football referee, has been in prison since 2018 and has been under difficult conditions since his arrest.
In a letter announcing their hunger strike, Arabi and Kashani wrote:
“Hear the sound of our protest. We heard your protests from inside this prison. We don’t want a tyrannical regime. By going on hunger strike, we political prisoners incarcerated in Evin prison will join the opponents of the dictators and we demand the overthrow of this tyrannical regime. Wherever we look, we see poverty, economic divide, and tyranny. Silence is complicity with the tyrants.”
The London protest in solidarity with Iranian political prisoners, organised by the Anarchist Communist Group, will be held on Wednesday 2nd October at the Iranian Embassy, 16 Princes Gate. London. SW7 1PT, from 12 noon to 2 pm October 2nd.
Photo: Soheil Arabi