IRAN: URGENT ACTION, TRADE UNIONIST PUNISHED FOR HUNGRR STRIKE

After ending his “wet” hunger strike (taking water but not food) on 14 April, trade union activistShahrokh Zamani was transferred to a ward for violent or dangerous prisoners at Raja’i Shahr Prison, in Karaj, north-west of Tehran, after his initial transfer to Ghezel Hessar Prison, also in Karaj, shortly after he started his hunger strike. Ghezel Hessar Prison is known for its poor prison conditions and does not have a ward for political prisoners. During this transfer on 14 April, Shahrokh Zamani was reportedly hit in the face by prison guards and his eyeglasses were broken. On the morning of 16 April, Shahrokh Zamani was taken outside of the prison for questioning and returned back later the same day. He has been told that he may be charged with “disturbing public order” in relation to his activism from inside prison including his hunger strike and open letters he wrote about prison conditions.

A source close to Amnesty International has said Shahrokh Zamani, who is 49, is weak after his hunger strike, but he has not been examined by a doctor. He lost about 22 kilos during his hunger strike.

Shahrokh Zamani, a painter and decorator, started his hunger strike on 8 March in solidarity with imprisoned Sufi Gonabadi Dervishes, who went on hunger strike in protest at poor prison conditions and being ill-treated by prison guards. Shahrokh Zamani had been transferred from Raja’i Shahr Prison to Ghezel Hessar Prison on 11 March apparently to punish him for his continued peaceful activism from prison. Shahrokh Zamani has said he continued his hunger strike in protest at being taken to Ghezel Hessar Prison.