Fartashphoto's Blog

Bargaining Chips

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on August 2, 2010

A group of 17 Iranian political prisoners, including journalists and student activists, have been on hunger strike for a week demanding better treatment, opposition websites reported.

“So far five of the hunger strikers have been taken to hospital and the condition of the others is worsening,” reported Kaleme.com, the website of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

The group including reformist journalists Bahman Ahmadi Amoui and Keyvan Samimi as well as leading student activists Abdollah Momeni and Majid Tavakoli “went on hunger strike after being transferred to solitary confinement and in protest at insults and humiliation,” the website said.

Another opposition website Rahesabz.net said the hunger strike was triggered by an argument between some prisoners and wardens over the treatment of their families who had come for a visit on July 26.

Those on the hunger strike have been in jail since they were rounded up in the wake of protests that followed the disputed June 2009 vote which saw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected amid allegations of widespread fraud.

Many of them have been sentenced to varying jail terms on charges of harming national security and provoking unrest. At least 10 have also been given death sentences.

On the other hand, the mothers of American hikers said their three children are being held “in almost complete isolation without any semblance of due process in violation of Iranian and international law.”

“If Iran believes it has any reason to charge our children, it should do so without delay and give them a fair trial in a public court of law,” the mothers said.

“If it does not have any evidence against them — as we know to be the case — it should release them immediately.”

“Iran should stop dragging its feet and act according to its own laws or finally come clean and admit that it is holding our children as bargaining chips.”

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