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Tehran Prosecutor Says Hunger Strikes 'Useless Ploys'

Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi,Tehran's prosecutor, during a general meeting on November 23, 2016.

Following widespread reactions to reports concerning hunger strikes at a prison near the capital, Tehran Prosecutor-General Abbas Ja’fari Dolatabadi” has lashed out and called such protest “useless ploys.”

“Prisoners on hunger strike cannot force the judiciary into submission,” the semiofficial Mehr News Agency (MNA) cited Dolatabadi as saying. “Let the prisoners on hunger strike, or who threaten the judiciary in other ways, know that such ploys are ineffective and have no impact.”

Political prisoners in Iran have repeatedly gone on hunger strike to protest the conditions behind bars as well as what they say is a disregard of their fundamental rights.

Disregarding the law enforcing the necessity of separating prisoners according to their charges, depriving prisoners of the right to have access to telephones to contact their families, and the misbehavior of prison guards are among the complaints often cited.

The prisoners on hunger strike are particularly angry for being physically abused and forced to eat and drink while on strike.

“The fact that detention conditions have become so poor that desperate prisoners feel they are forced to go on hunger strike to demand the most basic standards of human dignity is disgraceful and highlights the urgent need for reforms to Iran’s cruel prison system,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, deputy Middle East and North Africa director for Amnesty International.

She called on Iranian authorities to urgently ensure that all prisoners at Rajai Shahr Prison have access to food, drinking water, medicine, health care, and sanitation.