Iran protests: hunger strike Tools to fight prisoners’ compulsory hijab law – BBC News

February 6, 2023


Farhad Maysami has been in prison since 2018.

Shocking footage of a prisoner hunger strike in Iran has sparked a wave of anger towards the government and concern for the safety of his life

Farhad Maysami, 53, a teacher and human rights activist, has been in prison since 2018.

He was sentenced to six years in prison for supporting a campaign against the compulsory hijab law for women.

Maysami started a hunger strike in October last year calling for “Stop the execution of protesters, release six political prisoners and end the harassment of women for wearing hijabs.”

Evidence used by the Iranian authorities to convict him and books on nonviolent resistance, such as Vaclav Havel’s The Power of the Powerless, former Czech president. and a small sign in his office that reads “I oppose compulsory hijab wear.”

As Iran begins celebrating the 44th anniversary of the 10-day Islamic Revolution, Maysami uses his body to make his voice heard by the world.

in a letter from prison Copies of which have been sent to the BBC’s Persian Language Department. Mr Maysamy stated that He will escalate the protests by water fasting.

He wrote: “For the next 10 days, I will make my water ‘bitter’ as a sign that life under the Islamic Republic of Iran is bitter than poison.”

The former teacher’s words refer to a phrase in Iranian literature that is often likened to bitter water. or undrinkable water with difficult times or pain in life

In the letter, he accused the leaders of Iran of deprive of dignity and security of the Iranian people and bring misery and pain upon them.”

Mr Maysami expressed hope that His actions will lead to “The movement of a large number of people”

image source, Mohammad Moghimi via Reuters


Amnesty International said: “These images are a shocking reminder of the human rights abuses by the Iranian authorities.”

Anti-government protests across the country had previously dwindled markedly. since the authorities began to execute protesters

Iran’s supreme leader said He pardoned the inmates. “Tens of thousands” of people, including those involved in the recent protests. to celebrate the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution

However, this pardon does not include Maysami. or protesters and activists facing heavy prison sentences for “Acts that endanger national security” or “War with God”

Iranian state media reported that Such a pardon was made. After a letter from the Chief Justice was published stating that Many of the prisoners were young people misled by foreign influence and propaganda. The letter also claims that Many protesters expressed their condolences. and asked for forgiveness from the authorities

While Deputy Chief Justice Sadec Rahimi said Prisoners eligible for pardon must write a confession that they regret their crimes. Otherwise they will not be released.

However, the amnesty does not include dual nationals currently serving imprisonment.

image source, Reuters


Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran pardon the prisoner Tens of Thousands of People Celebrate the 44th Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution

A picture of Mr Maysami, whose body is so thin that his ribs are clearly visible. It has been spread widely on social media.

Ms Atena Daemi, a former imprisoned women’s rights activist mentioning this “Last protest is the last weapon used by prisoners to protest and demand their rights.”

Prominent Iranian activists have called on Meysami to end the hunger strike. while others praised him for risking his life to fight for the rights of others.

Ms. Bahareh Hedayat is one of the six prisoners that Mr Maysamy demanded the release of. She wrote to him pleading for an end to the hunger strike. But the Islamic republic must be eliminated.”

Ali Karimi, former Iranian footballer and captain It compared Maysami’s picture to that of a prisoner at Auschwitz, stating, “This is a concentration camp of the Islamic Republic.”

On Twitter, Ghouhar Eski, whose son was tortured to death in prison in 2012 and turned into a prominent human rights defender in Iran, posted a message of support for May. Samiva “May my darling live Your lives are worth hundreds of times more than those who make people’s lives like hell.”

Iranian prison officials say Mr Maysami did not go on a hunger strike. But he told his cellmates and prison guards that he would eat as little as possible. to stay alive

Amnesty International said: “These images are a shocking reminder of the human rights abuses by the Iranian authorities.”

Maysami’s lawyer, Mohammad Moqimi, warned his life was in grave danger.