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Political Prisoner On Hunger Strike Dies In Custody

Iranian prisoner of conscience, Vahid Sayadi Nasiri, who died after a hunger strike in Qom prison.

Iranian political activist Vahid Sayadi Nasiri has died after weeks of being on a hunger strike in a prison in Qom, 127 kilometers (79 miles) south of the capital city, Tehran.

Her sister, Elaheh Sayadi Nasiri told Radio Farda's Mahtab Vahidi Rad that the authorities contacted the family on December 12, instructing them to go to the Behesht-Masoumeh Cemetery in Qom, to receive his body.

It is still unclear when exactly Sayadi Nasiri passed away.

"Protesting the situation of prisoners in Qom, my brother had gone on hunger strike, and demanded to be returned to the political ward in Tehran's Evin prison," Ms. Dayadi Nasiri noted.

Vahid Sayadi Nasiri was initially arrested in September 2015, and sentenced to eight years on charges of “insulting religious sanctities, including the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei” and “propaganda against the state,” on his Facebook account.

Thirteen months after his detention, Sayadi Nasiri went on hunger strike in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, to protest the ambiguities surrounding his case. Later, he was sentenced to eight years which he began serving in Evin and Rajaei Shahr prisons.

Benefiting from an Iranian new year pardon, he was released last March, after spending two and a half year behind bars.

However, his release was short-lived, and the Intelligence department's agents in Qom arrested him again last August.

Nasiri went on hunger strike in late October 2018 to protest being locked up with ordinary criminals which violated the Islamic Republic’s own regulations on the principle of separation of inmates.

According to Iran Human Rights Monitor (IHRM), During his detention at Raja’i Shahr and Evin prisons, Sayadi Nasiri had time and again been harassed by "operatives linked to the Iranian regime".

Sayadi Nasiri was severely beaten on February 14, 2017, by two violent offenders.

He was again attacked on May 7, 2017, by a fanatic Shi'a inmate who threatened his life.