News : Human rights
- Published: Wednesday, 23 October 2019
Two political prisoners in Iran, who are supporters of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK), have been on a hunger strike since October 17 over the poor living condition in prison.
Mehdi Farahi Shandiz and Mohammad Riazat, MEK supporters who protested the lack of facilities and warm water in the central prison of Karaj, were relocated to solitary confinement the day after their hunger strike began, according to the Campaign in Defense of Political and Civil Prisoners.
Riazat was arrested following the widespread anti-regime protests organized by the MEK last August before being temporarily released on bail. He was then sentenced to three years in jail on charges of “insulting the Founder and Supreme Leader” and “propaganda against the regime” by Judge Mehdi Zeinali of the criminal revolutionary court. Riazat was transferred to Karaj’s Central Penitentiary on December 10.
Shandiz, who was previously arrested for other political activities in 2011 and 2014, was sentenced to three years on “insulting the Leader” and “disturbing public order”.
Prior to the hunger strike of these MEK supporters, six other political prisoners had gone on a hunger strike in July after publishing an open letter about unacceptable prison conditions and misconduct by prison officials.
The MEK said that in the period June 22-July 22, there were 24 hunger strikes by political prisoners in Iran, mostly due to their conditions.
Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), tweeted on June 14: “I reiterate the need for the formation of an international delegation to visit and inspect Iranian prisons and conditions of political prisoners in Iran.”
The resistance of the MEK’s political prisoners has been inspiring for others in the opposition movements in Iran, particularly young people, teachers, and workers. That is partly the reason why so many Iranians have taken to the streets in protest, from unpaid workers to school students to cheated investors. Their protests are being better organized by the MEK resistance units, who are also burning the regime’s symbols and posters of the regime’s Supreme Leader. It is clear that Iran is on the brink of revolt.
Meanwhile, the Regime is reacting foolishly by giving prize positions to those who demonize the MEK, including three of the senior commanders in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Ebrahim Raisi, a key figure in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mainly MEK members and supporters. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei named Raisi Chief Justice earlier this year, showing that the MEK is still at risk from the mullahs.
The MEK wrote: “The resistance of political prisoners, particularly MEK supporters as well as other sectors of the Iranian society clearly indicates the embers beneath the ashes in the tumultuous Iranian society. They want regime change and establishing democracy and freedom by the true and reliable alternative, the NCRI and its elected President, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.”
The MEK, which has fought two dictatorial regimes, urges young people and women to stand up against the regime.
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