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Baghaei Goes On Hunger Strike

Hamid Baghaei (L) Iranian politician and former intelligence officer and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad former Iranian President, undated.

Former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s deputy for executive affairs has gone on hunger strike to protest his detention.

Hamid Baghaei was detained and taken into custody in front of his house on July 9. He was put behind bars after failing to raise the $15 million bail requested for his release.

The security forces have also sealed off a part of Baghaei’s residence, Ahmadinejad media adviser Ali Akbar Javanfekr wrote in Dolatebahar, a pro-Ahmadinejad website.

Ahmadinejad has described his close ally’s recent detention as “illegal” and a “great cruelty,” calling for his immediate release.

Javanfekr raised concern over Baghaei’s health.

“Baghaei is suffering from gastronomical problems and acute physical weakness,” he wrote on his Telegram account on July 13.

Meanwhile, he reiterated that the hunger strike and prison conditions have seriously jeopardized Baghaei’s health.

Furthermore, Javanfekr emphasized that whoever is behind ordering the “illegal and unjustifiable” detention will be directly held responsible and accountable for his health and whatever happens to him.

He also stressed that Baghaei’s fragile physical condition is the outcome of his previous “illegal and callous” detention and seven months’ imprisonment.

Baghaei was first arrested in June 2015 and kept behind bars for seven months without being charged. He was released without further explanation.

Reacting to Baghaei’s re-arrest, Ahmadinejad, in a long letter addressed to the people of Iran and published on his official website, called for his ally’s immediate release and said he had also sent a separate letter addressed to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, asking him to help in Baghaei’s release.

Baghaei is not Ahmadinejad’s first ally who has ended up behind bars.

Immediately after Hassan Rouhani’s first term as president, Ahmadinejad’s first deputy was summoned to court. In September 2014, Mohammad Reza Rahimi was sentenced to a prison term and a cash fine, convicted of yet unknown charges.

Moreover, in January 2015, Iran's Supreme Court sentenced Rahimi to five years and 91 days in prison and fined him 10 billion rials (roughly $310,000). Rahimi was also ordered to pay compensation equivalent to 28.5 billion rials.

Another close Ahmadinejad ally, Abdur Reza Davari, was also arrested two months ago. Davari, an adviser to Ahmadinejad, was reportedly sentenced to six and a half years’ prison for two allegedly offensive comments against the supreme leader under a post on Facebook. The commentators were reportedly anonymous. According to the latest reports, Davari’s sentence has been reduced to two and a half years at a court of appeal.

The judiciary’s spokesman, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, has also declared there is a lawsuit against Ahmadinejad and it is under legal review.