Breathing in Confinement


Human rights activist on hunger strike in Iran



URGENT ACTION HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST ON HUNGER STRIKE IN IRAN Human rights activist Latif Hasani, a member of Iran’s Azerbaijani minority who is serving a nine-year prison sentence, has been on hunger strike since 18 May in protest at the treatment of political prisoners in Iran. He is a prisoner of conscience who must be released immediately and unconditionally. On 18 May 2014, Latif Hasani, started a “wet” hunger strike (taking water but not food) in protest at the treatment of political prisoners in Iran and the denial of his request to be transferred from Tabriz Central Prison, northwest Iran, to a prison closer to his family home in Karaj, northwest of Tehran. On 28 June, Latif Hasani was transferred to Tehran’s Evin Prison and shortly after to Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj, where he is currently held in a section with violent offenders. He has said he will continue his hunger strike until he is transferred to the political prisoners section of Raja’i Shahr Prison. His health has weakened as a result of his hunger strike, possibly exacerbating his pre-existing health conditions, including an irregular heartbeat for which he takes medication, severe low blood pressure and stomach pains.

Latif Hasani as well as four other men were arrested between January and March 2013. Mahmoud Fazli, Behboud Gholizadeh, Shahram Radmehr, Ayat Mehr-Ali Beyglou and Latif Hasani, all Azerbaijani and members of Yeni Gamoh’s Central Council, an Iran-based Azerbaijani (Turkic) cultural and political rights advocacy organization, were sentenced to nine-year prison terms in April 2013. After their arrest, the five men were detained incommunicado, then moved to Tabriz Central Prison. They were not permitted access to lawyers until one week before their trial. A family member of one of the five said that they were tortured or otherwise ill-treated while detained by the Ministry of Intelligence.