Arash Sadeghi, a political prisoner who was on hunger strike for 72 days, has ended his strike after his demands were met and his wife, Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was granted a temporary leave of absence from prison.
On 3 Jan 2017 Iraee was released temporarily on a $150k (600 million Toman) bail and Sadeghi was taken to prison hospital to receive parenteral nutrition intravenously.
Sadeghi, a civil and political activist is serving a 19 year sentence; Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee is serving a six year sentence merely for an unpublished story.
Amir Raiisian, Sadeghi’s lawyer expressed the hope that Sadeghi will be taken to hospital for examination outside of prison grounds.
However, latest reports confirm that Sadeghi is still in ward 8 of Evin prison. Arash Sadeghi’s health has deteriorated during the 72 day hunger strike; he has been coughing up blood and is in need of medical care in facilities outside of prison.
Sadeghi has maintained that the security authorities of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have arrested and sentenced his wife to six years in prison as pretext to punish them more.
Nassim Papayianni, who is a researcher with Amnesty International, welcomed the furlough but in a statement said: “neither she nor her husband Arash Sadeghi should have ever been forced to spend a single minute behind bars. They were unjustly detained and treated like criminals for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and standing up for human rights.”
Golrokh Iraee’s furlough was granted after as many as seven Iranian political prisoners started a hunger strike for various demands; including her husband who denied his body food for 72 days on the condition that his wife’s case is re-evaluated in court.
At the same time a social media campaign and a silent protest in front of Evin prison in Tehran demanded that the lives of Sadeghi and other political prisoner on hunger strike be saved. Hundreds of people took to the streets in front Evin prison in Tehran and on the palms of their hands they had written down hashtags including #SaveArash, #SaveAli and #SaveSaeed.
Ali Shariati and Saeed Shirzad, two other political prisoners who are on hunger strike demanding an end to discrimination against political prisoners and access to healthcare are still on strike for 65 days and 29 days respectively.
Arash Sadeghi has been in and out of prison since 2009. Sadeghi objected to the 2016 imprisonment of his wife and went on hunger strike on 24 Oct 2016.
Ebrahimi Iraee was sentenced to six year in prison in 2015 for an unpublished short story she had written on the subject of stoning women for adultery in Shiite jurisprudence. Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the National Security Division had confiscated the unpublished story during a raid on Sadeghi and Iraee’s apartment when they went to arrest Sadeghi on 6 September 2014.
Arash Sadeghi is a former student of Allameh Tabatabai University who was expelled and arrested in relation to the 2009 disputed presidential election in Iran.
Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee and Arash Sadeghi were arrested one more time in 2014 and sentenced to respectively 15 and Six years in prison. Sadeghi who has been a political activist was charged with assembly against the state, insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic, propaganda against the state and establishing an illegal group.
Iraee was charged with insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the state. Four years were still remaining on Sadeghi’s previous sentencing and so the judge in the appeals court sentenced him to 19 years in prison in total.
Seven other prisoners are still on hunger strike including Ali Shariati (65 days), Saeed Shirzad (29 days), Iranian-Turkish citizen Hassan Rastegari Majd (35 days), Lebanese IT specialist Nizar Zaka (16 days), a Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Nekounam (14 days) and Mehdi Kukhyan (14 days).