According to sources in Rejaei Shahr prison, political prisoner, journalist Isa Saharkhiz has launched a hunger strike as of Thursday October 6. He has also threatened to stop taking all his needed medication.
According to reports received by Jaras, Isa Saharkhiz’s physical health has regressed during the past 2 years that he has been incarcerated.
This journalist imprisoned at Rejaei Shahr prison,in addition to highly irregular blood pressure, suffers from severe back pain. He has three damaged vertebrae in his spinal cord that were damaged during his incarceration. According to a physician, if left untreated, it can lead to paralysis.
Considering the fact that political prisoners are allowed to be treated in a hospital outside of prison only with the approval of the Public Prosecutor, and the fact that it takes the Prosecutor months to issue such approvals, Isa Saharkhiz with four damaged vertebrae in his lower back and two damaged vertebrae in his neck, will soon have to use a wheelchair.
According to reports received by Jaras, doctors have discovered Saharkhiz has a cancerous tumor that is suspected to be cancerous and needs to be treated immediately.
His son also told Jaras, “Doctors suspected a cancerous tumor in his body and a biopsy should immediately be performed, but nothing has yet been done, and they do not give any answer to the family. He needs to be under the care of specialists, but, as I said, nothing has been done yet. My father also suffers from irregular blood pressure which needs to be treated. We have requested medical furlough for him numerous times, but they won’t even respond to our request with a no answer ,so they don’t have to explain the reason for rejecting the medical furlough.”
Isa Saharkhiz, is a member of the Central Council for the Association of the Defense of Press Freedom and is editor-in-chief of the banned newspaper “The world of Economics” and the monthly publication “Aftab”.
He was head of the press department at the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Education during former President Khatami’s Reformist Administration.
Saharkhiz was arrested June 2009 during the post-presidential election of 2009 mass arrests. He was tried in Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati and was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of insulting the Supreme Leader and propaganda against the regime.
During his two years and three months detention, despite recommendations by prison physicians, he has not been allowed medical treatment outside of prison and also has not been permitted the use of furlough.
The report that was received by Jaras on Saharkhiz’s hunger strike also indicated that among the political prisoners there is an elderly 83 year old man in dire condition, suffering from leukemia. He might lose his life if proper care is not provided, just like political prisoner Mohsen Dokmechi, who lost his life due to lack of medical treatment for his cancer.
Also, several reports indicate a worsening of sanitary situation in Gohardasht prison, and added pressure on the political prisoners and their families has been reported.