Women Prisoners: Hunger Strike
10 brave female political prisoners in Evin prison in Iran:
Nasrin Sotoudeh, human rights defender lawyer is on hunger strike since October 17. Nasrin is protesting at the authorities’ harassment of her family and restrictions on her visitation rights. The Evin Prison Disciplinary Council has apparently placed a three-week ban on her receiving family visits. Since her arrest in 2010, Sotoudeh was held for a lengthy period in solitary confinement and has been regularly prevented from face-to-face meetings with her family, including her two children or making phone calls to other family members.
The following political prisoners went on a hunger strike on October 31 in protest of the harassment and degrading treatment by the Evin prison authorities:
Bahareh Hedayat is a student activist and a member of the One Million Signature Campaign which is committed to ending discrimination against women in Iranian law. She is serving a 10-year prison sentence for “insulting the president”, “insulting the Leader” and “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”.
Zhila Bani Yaghoob, an award-winning journalist and women’s rights activist, was summoned to Evin Prison on 2 September 2012 to serve a one-year prison sentence. In addition to her imprisonment, she has been banned from media and journalistic activities for 30 years after conviction of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “insulting the president”.
Shiva Nazar Ahari is a journalist, human rights activist and a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. She is currently serving a four-year prison sentence for her peaceful human rights activities.
Mahsa Amrabadi, a journalist detained for two months after the disputed 2009 presidential election, is currently serving a one-year prison sentence for “spreading propaganda against the system through interviews and reports”.
Zhila Karamzadeh-Makvandi is a member of the Mothers of Laleh Park (formerly known as the “Mourning Mothers”), which campaigns against human rights violations such as unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests, torture and enforced disappearance. Many of its members are women whose children were killed, detained or who disappeared in the unrest which followed the June 2009 election.
Nassim Soltanbeigi, student rights activist last time arrested in 2010, sentenced to total of 6 years in prison.
Hakimeh Shokri is a member of “Mothers of Laleh Park” (aka Mourning Mothers), a group actively supporting the mothers of individuals arrested and killed during post election demonstrations. She was arrested in Beheshte Zahra Cemetery in Tehran on December 5th, 2009 after attending the funeral of Amir Arshad Tajmir, killed during the post election demonstrations.
Nazanin Deihimi Translator of children’s books – Student in theater, arrested on 14 Feb 2011 during protest. Released on bail in Apr 2011, and on Oct 3, 2012 reported to Evin to serve her 8 months sentence.
Raheleh Zokaee among the lesser-known prisoners, received one-year prison sentence for “propaganda against the regime.”