Hunger striking trade unionist Esmail Abdi refuses prison clinic protesting offensive treatment

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Hunger striking trade unionist Esmail Abdi refuses prison clinic protesting offensive treatment

Hunger striking trade unionist Esmail Abdi has refused to visit the prison clinic highlighting the offensive approach of prison’s medical staff as a nurse refused to provide his vital signs test result on April 27.

During a telephone call with his family he criticized the offending treatment of the prison nurse, and held the medical staff accountable for his health in any way.

The prominent trade unionist Esmail Abdi who is a member of the board of directors of the Teachers’ Trade Association of Tehran, announced his intention to begin a hunger strike on 17 April in an open letter on 11 April. Esmail Abdi delayed the start of his hunger strike by a week after officials from the prosecutor’s office promised to address his concerns. His wife said that, when the officials failed to do so, he began his hunger strike on 24 April.

Esmail Abdi was first arrested by Revolutionary Guards officials on 27 June 2015 and held for 40 days in solitary confinement. In February 2016, he was sentenced to six years in prison after an unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, which convicted him of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security” for his peaceful trade union activities. He was released on bail on 14 May 2016 following a two-week hunger strike. In October 2016, Esmail Abdi’s sentence was upheld on appeal and he began serving it after being arrested on 9 November 2016. He has made two requests for his case to be subjected to judicial review, but the Supreme Court rejected both, in February and October 2017 respectively.

Amnesty International on April 25, called on Iranian authorities to release the mathematics teacher immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience held solely for his peaceful trade union activities, and ensure, in the meantime, that he has access to a qualified health professional who can provide health care in compliance with medical ethics.

 

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