Life of detained human rights defender at risk after 90 days on hunger strike

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Three months into his hunger strike, detained human rights defender Farhad Meysami is in dire conditions.
Since Meysami began his hunger strike, he has lost approximately 18kg in weight and is reported to be very frail.

Farhad Meysami has been inhumanly treated during the course of his hunger strike. On many occasions, against his wishes, and without the presence of his lawyer or family members, he has been tied to the bed and injected with serum.

Imprisoned rights activist Reza Khandan has warned Iranian authorities that another fellow political prisoner could die if he is not allowed immediate medical care outside Evin Prison in Tehran.

“Farhad Meysami’s life is in danger more than ever and he needs immediate treatment at a reliable hospital outside prison,” wrote Khandan in a letter dated October 14, 2018.

He continued: “The prison’s authorities have apparently been ordered by the prosecutor and the clinic’s director, to turn the clinic from a professional and ethical medical center under the supervision of the Health Ministry into a security jail where the rooms are used as cells for solitary confinement.”

According to Amnesty International, on September 26, he was forcibly transferred from section 4 of Evin prison to the medical clinic, where he is being held in isolation, and has been administered intravenous fluids against his will.

In a Wednesday statement the Britain-based rights group called on Iran to “immediately and unconditionally” release Farhad Meysami.
“Instead of holding him in isolation in a medical clinic as punishment and to coerce him to end his hunger strike, the authorities should stop playing sinister games with his health and release him immediately and unconditionally,” said Amnesty International.

Farhad Meysami began his hunger strike in protest at his unlawful detention. He was arrested at his home in Tehran on 31 July. Security forces found badges that read “I am against forced hijab” in his possession. He was charged with “spreading propaganda against the system” and “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”. He was also charged with “insulting Islamic sanctities” because, according to the authorities, he “insulted” the hijab.

Meysami is started his hunger strike on August 1, demanding the unconditional release of human rights defenders Nasrin Sotoudeh and Reza Khandan, who were arrested in June 2018 and September 2018, respectively for their human rights work.

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