Iranian political prisoner Saba Kord Afshari went on a hunger strike in Qarchak Prison from May 8-17, refusing both food and medicine, to demand that the regime reduce pressure on the families of political prisoners and release her mother, Raheleh Asl Ahmadi, from Evin Prison.
Ahmadi needs medical care for damage to her spine and left leg caused by a nervous shock she endured when Afshari was violently transferred to Qarchak.
Afshari, who has a stomach ulcer and various GI problems, only ended her strike because of serious health problems but vowed to continue with her demands in a letter dated May 11.
She wrote: “I have thoroughly felt and experienced your oppression. Is there anything more that I should witness?! I think of what all the other prisoners and I have been through; I ponder, and I take my steps stronger than ever.”
Afshari was arrested for taking part in a protest in August 2018 against the economic recession and increasing injustice. The regime responded to the protests with violence, arresting all those who were merely demanding their rights. Afshari spent three months in a Qarchak torture chamber awaiting sentencing, before being given a year in Evin prison.
Following her release, she refused to remain silent about the rights of Iranians that were being crushed or the “deplorable conditions of Iran’s torture chambers. She protested execution, amputation, the deprivation of basic rights, and the suppression of women. Afshari was arrested in June 2019 and sentenced to 24 years. When her mother protested this, she was also arrested.
Afshari wrote: “We were only demanding our rights and liberties. The rights and freedoms we have been deprived of for years. But the regime has shown time and again that the answer to such demands is highly costly.”
Afshari explained that the dictators try to suppress protests with violence at every opportunity, but they have failed to indoctrinate the people either on the streets or in prisons. They have failed to stop the people from expressing their views, which is understandable because the cause of freedom does not bend to threats, but rather pushes on until it is achieved.
She wrote: “Unfortunately, I do not have sound physical health. Knowing it fully well that people’s lives are not worth anything to the Islamic Republic, I have no choice but to end my hunger strike. But I will continue to uphold my demands. Oppression has never endured, and it will not stay.”