Hunger Strikers Tell Families They Will Pay Any Price Until Situation Changes

Jun 22, 20110 comments

The twelve prisoners inside Evin Prison’s Ward 350, who have been on hunger strike for two days protesting the deaths of Hoda Saber and Haleh Sahabi, told their families that they will continue their strike until there is conditions change. The wives of two of the prisoners, Feyzollah Arab Sorkhi and Emad Behavar, provided some information to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Maryam Sharbatdar Ghods, Arab Sorkhi’s wife, described her husband’s conditions: “I don’t know about his physical condition. This is, after all, the third day of his hunger strike. My husband and I always had a negative perception of hunger strikes, as we thought when there are more appropriate ways for protesting a situation, why should one endanger his life through a hunger strike? I don’t know what the conditions inside prison were like for him to choose a hunger strike against his beliefs. A man was killed before their very eyes, after all. I believe that the decision he’s made is not an emotional one. He was sure this is the only way in which he can get his voice heard,” Sharbatdar Ghods said. “I saw Mr. [Khosrow Amir] Sani today. I told him he should break his hunger strike, because he has been on a hunger strike for a long time, but he said that he would continue. He said ‘I broke my hunger strike a few days ago, but when everyone else started theirs, I joined them and I want to continue,” Sharbatdar Ghods said about the condition of Amir Sani, another prisoner who was on hunger strike with Hoda Saber. Maryam Shafiee, Emad Behavar’s wife,  also spoke with the Campaign after visiting her husband in prison today. “His psychological condition was good and he said that other prisoners are looking after them. But these are the first few days of hunger strike and I only hope that this will not last for too long. I am concerned. Emad said ‘I still can’t believe Saber’s death. This hunger strike is the least I can do to protest his death,” she said. Maryam Shafiee, the wife of one of the strikers, Emad Behavar, told the Campaign that the prisoners were protesting the death of Saber and Sahabi with the aim of changing the situation of political prisoners generally. She said that despite the request of Firouzeh Saber, Hoda Saber’s wife, and others to end the hunger strike, the prisoners “will not end their strike, and will continue until they get a reaction from judiciary officials. Emad said with this act they want the world to hear their pleas.” “They want the officials to bring about change in the status of political prisoners,” Shafiee continued. “They are deprived of the rights guaranteed to ordinary prisoners such as phone calls, visitations, furloughs, and they and their families are subject to demeaning treatment. They said that they will pay any price until they attain their goal and their situation changes.”