News : Human rights

Italian Organisations Support Iranian Political Prisoners

by-Poorang Novak

The Italian Parliamentary and Citizens’ Committee for a Free Iran has condemned the Iranian authorities for their mistreatment of prisoners in Iran and have expressed their concern for the 21 prisoners who are partaking in an ongoing hunger strike in Gohardasht prison in Karaj. Some of the prisoners have been on hunger strike for a month and are in a critical condition.

The committee is supported by numerous Italian members of parliament and senate, politicians and human rights activists. They issued a press release highlighting the situation of the prisoners.

As well as being mistreated, the prisoners have been deprived of their personal belongings, which includes essential medication, and have been transferred to another part of the prison where the conditions are even worse.

They highlighted that they are monitored by CCTV and listening devices, even in the bathrooms and showers. All windows are covered causing poor circulation of air and provoking headaches and hypertension. They are not allowed to contact their family by telephone and are denied visits. They do not have clean drinking water.

The prisoners striking are students, journalists, members of the Baha’i community, trade unionists and human rights activists.

Another Italian group, Hands Off Cain, has urged the Italian Government to listen to the demands of political prisoners. Secretary Sergio d'Elia, and Treasurer Elisabetta Zamparutti said: “We cannot remain indifferent to the inhuman and degrading conditions in which these people, who should not even be in jail, have had their crimes prosecuted. We cannot ignore the charges of indictment against them and how they are forced to live. This is why we urgently need a visit by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran in the jail of Raja'i Shahr, as well as an intervention by the Italian Government, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to ensure that the demands of the political prisoners of Raja'i Shahr prison are met and that their human rights are respected.”

Prisoners in other prisons across the country are also participating in hunger strikes in solidarity. In several cities in the West, Iranian people have held protests and rallies in a call for the international community to support the prisoners’ demands.


However, the Iranian regime seems to be indifferent to the situation. The Attorney General of Tehran Jafari-Dolatabadi (who has been blacklisted by the EU for serious human rights violations) said, in a threat to the prisoners, that their actions will “fail”.

 

 

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