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Prominent Rights Activist Goes On Hunger Strike In Iran Prison

Nasrin Sotoudeh, prominent Iranian human rights defender, who was re-arrested in June.

A prominent Iranian rights activist and political prisoner has started a hunger strike to support another prisoner of conscience whose health is deteriorating in prison.

Nasrin Sotoudeh’s family announced on November 26 that she has started a hunger strike in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison to protest the deteriorating health of Farhad Meysami, who himself has been on hunger strike for more than 110 days. She has told the family that she demands Meysami’s release.

Mr. Meysami who is a medical doctor was detained in July for protesting compulsory hijab and has been accused of supporting “moral corruption” and anti-regime propaganda. He started his hunger strike on August 1.

Meysami’s lawyer in Iran told Radio Farda in an interview on November 26 that his client’s health is in serious danger and his only crime is to have protested compulsory hijab.

Amnesty International issued a statement on October 24 condemning the authorities for holding Meysami in isolation in a medical clinic to force him to give up his hunger strike. Amnesty demanded his immediate release.

Ms. Sotoudeh, who had served half of a six-year prison term before, was arrested again in June and her husband Reza Khandan was arrested in early September.