As previously announced by a number of Rejaei Shahr political prisoners, they started their hunger strike on May 22. These prisoners had been on interval hunger strikes since April 10, 2011 but announced previously their plan to go on a continued unlimited hunger strike until authorities meet their demands.
In their statement announcing their plan for a continued hunger strike they emphasized, “Until the ruling faction stops their current self-interest conduct and starts giving citizens all the legal provisions as described on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we will remain on a continued unlimited hunger strike until our demands are met”.
The hunger strike at Rejaei Shahr prison started with eleven prisoners participating and later others joined the hunger strikers.
Mansour Osanlo, Rasoul Badaghi, Issa Saharkhiz, Heshmat Tabarzadi, Mehdi Mahmoudian, Kayvan Samimi, Reza Rafiei, Jafar Eghdami, Ali Ajami, Majid Tavakoli, Behrouz Javid Tehrani, Reza Sharifi Boukani and Khaled Hardani were among those who joined in the hunger strike.
On their statement they also emphasized as a reason for their hunger strike the added pressure on the families of the political prisoners and banning of all phone contacts & communications from inside the prison.
Reports are that after the interval hunger strikes, Journalist Issa Saharkhiz is in very poor health has lost 13 lbs already.
Imprisoned teacher Rasoul Badaghi was moved to solitary confinement on his 5th day of hunger strike and his status is currently unknown.
Journalist Mehdi Mahmoudian, on his last family visit told them of his plan for joining the unlimited hunger strike on May 22. Mahmoudian is in poor health and suffers from kidney problems due to previous hunger strikes. He has lost about 26 lbs already.
Many of the families of political prisoners and the Participation Front have issued statements asking the hunger strikers to end their strike.
A number of Evin Ward 350 political prisoners have also issued a statement in solidarity with Rejaei Shahr prisoners and have warned about the limitations and the human rights violations imposed on prisoners in the Islamic Republic’s prison systems.
Housein Ronaghi Maleki, Mehdi Khodaei, Ahmad Shahrezaei, Arash Sadeghi and Ramin Parchami are the Evin Ward 350 political prisoners who, in a statement, have proclaimed their solidarity with the hunger strikers and have protested the harsh conditions and human rights violations imposed on prisoners.
The Participation Front Youth Group members have also issued a statement asking the hunger strikers to end their strike. They said ” For the sake of Iran, your children, your wives and families, end your hunger strike”.
Also a number of Green sites in a statement, while praising the courage of the hunger strikers have urged them to end their hunger strike, for the sake of their health.
The Green sites asking for an end to the hunger strike are: Kaleme, Saham News, Rasa, Jaras, The Green Voice of Freedom, Taghir, Mizan Khabar, Tahavol Sabz, Emrooz, Nedai Azadi, Advar News, The Journalists site, Where Is Our Vote and the letter writing campaign for Mousavi and Rahnavard site.
Former president Khatami has called Journalist journalist Mehdi Mahmoudian’s mother. Khatami has urged the political prisoners to end their hunger strike. Khatami said “The health of the prisoners is the most important matter today, I urge you to ask them to end their hunger strike immediately”.
Khatami also said, he “hopes for the release of all political prisoners soon and also hopes that the responsible officials would meet the legal demands of our dear prisoners and would act in a way that eliminates the need for our prisoners to take such drastic measures”.