Abolfazl Karimi started a hunger strike on Monday morning, March 16, 2020, to protest his continued detention under undetermined status. Mr. Karimi was arrested during the protests in November 2019.
Abolfazl Karimi was deprived of contacting his family when held in the detention center of the IRGC Intelligence. Agents of the IRGC Intelligence brutalized him during interrogations, beating him with shockers and pulling out his nails. They threatened to arrest his sick father and mother.
The case of Abolfazl Karimi has been referred to Branch 1 for interrogations of the Public and Revolutionary Court of Baharestan. After four months since his arrest, however, his case has not been determined and he remains in jail in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary.
Aborfazl Karimi was born on November 27, 2001. He was a worker and the only breadwinner of his family. He was under 18 years of age at the time of arrest. He works in the prison, cleaning up various parts of the jail. Following is the text of a letter he has sent out of prison, describing his story and announcing his hunger strike:
I, Abolfazl Karimi, son of Mohammad, am a worker. I have an old mother who has heart complications. I am the only one who provides the expenses for her medical care and medications. I am the only child of the family and no one else can help pay the family’s expenses. I am living under the worst possible financial conditions. I am presently working in prison. I clean up the prison. My father cannot work because he has broken his leg. My mother was recently operated on, and she was in coma for a month.
I had an extremely difficult time in Ward 2A of Evin Prison. I did not have any news of my mother. They did not let me contact my family. They held me in solitary confinement for 50 days. While under interrogation, they threatened to arrest my parents. Also, in the (detention center) of the IRGC Intelligence in Akbarabad, they beat me with shockers. They claimed that I had killed an officer. The agents broke my head and pulled my toe nails. Now, all my toe nails are falling off. They kicked (me in the mouth) and broke one of my teeth. In Branch 1 for interrogations of Baharestan, they falsely accused me of crime. My request is that you do not tell everyone that the IRGC Intelligence do not beat anyone. The IRGC Intelligence is worse than Shemr (the murderer of the 3rd Shiite Imam). My message is to the people to support us to the last moment. God knows that the only reason we came to the streets was to protest high prices. We fought on your behalf. Do not set us aside. Do not leave us alone! I have started a hunger strike and I will not eat anything until I am released.”
March 16, 2020
The Greater Tehran Penitentiary