Prisoners of conscience write to the UN about their cellmate on hunger strike after 24 years of imprisonment

Prisoners of conscience write to the UN about their cellmate on hunger strike after 24 years of imprisonment

Published by on October 5, 2017

Mohammad Nazari, a Kurdish political prisoner, has been on hunger strike for over 60 days protesting his legal status and the regime’s failure to address his situation.

Nazari was arrested in 1993 for having contact with Kurdish parties and was sentenced to death after false confession taken under torture. However, due to the pressure by human rights organisations, his death penalty was changed to life imprisonment in 2007 and he was then transferred from Orumiyeh to Rajaei-Shahr prison.

Nazari started a hunger strike after mistreatment of prisoners in Gohardasht more than two month ago. He wants a review of his case and return to normal prison condition.

Four of his cellmates in Rajajahi Shahr (Gohardasht) prison wrote a letter addressed to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, and the UN Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, Ms Asma Jahangir, and warned about the physical condition of Mohammad Nazari, calling for his unconditional release.

In their letter the prisoners of conscience, Saeed Shirzad, Ibrahim Firouzi, Jafar Eghdami, and Saeed Masouri, noted more than 60 days of hunger strike by Mohammad Nazari and wrote: “Mohammad Nazari has spent more than 24 years in prison without even one day of furlough. He was sentenced to life imprisonment allegedly for having contact with Kurdish parties.”

These prisoners who themselves have been convicted of several vague charges including “propaganda against the system, disturbing public opinion and assembly and collusion against the system”, called on all the awake consciences around the world to raise their voices for protection of Mohammad Nazari’s life.

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Abolish death penalty

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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