15 Iranian women start hunger strike against regime’s prison conditions

Laila Mirzo: 'It is impressive that women are causing the mullahs to stagger.'

 A woman walks after the morality police shut down in a street in Tehran, Iran December 6, 2022.  (photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA/REUTERS)
A woman walks after the morality police shut down in a street in Tehran, Iran December 6, 2022.
(photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA/REUTERS)

A group of women in the infamous Kachoui prison near Tehran in January launched a hunger strike to protest their harsh incarceration and the lack of medical care.

The Iranian-American human rights activist, Lawdan Barzargan, who was imprisoned in the 1980’s in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran for her dissident political activity, told The Jerusalem Post:

“In the past 43 years, Iran's brutal Islamic regime and its irregular, unfair, and unjust judiciary system have forced political prisoners to use hunger strikes to protest against tyranny and injustice. The courageous act of these brave women should be a wake-up call for western countries to understand what kind of regime they are dealing with.”

“In the past 43 years, Iran's brutal Islamic regime and its irregular, unfair, and unjust judiciary system have forced political prisoners to use hunger strikes to protest against tyranny and injustice. The courageous act of these brave women should be a wake-up call for Western countries to understand what kind of regime they are dealing with.”

Lawdan Barzargan

The US government news outlet Radio Farda first reported on the hunger strike on Thursday

Radio Farda wrote that “Among those on the hunger strike is 22-year-old Armita Abbasi, who was arrested on October 10 in Karaj by security forces amid nationwide protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody in September.”

A prison guard stands along a corridor in Tehran's Evin prison June 13, 2006. (credit: REUTERS)A prison guard stands along a corridor in Tehran's Evin prison June 13, 2006. (credit: REUTERS)

The news organization added “Abbasi's mother wrote on her Instagram account that because of her daughter’s hunger strike, prison authorities no longer allow her to call her family. She also said the court did not accept the lawyer representing her daughter.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s opaque judicial system has long faced criticism from human rights organizations and legal experts for failing to meet rudimentary norms of fairness.

Barzargan said that “The judiciary system in Iran is a sham. Lawyers and judges act as interrogators, and accusations are bogus and arbitrary. The only way to deal with this brutal regime is to understand that it is illegitimate. The people of Iran are aching for a secular democratic government with a fair, just, and independent judiciary system.” 

The clerical regime executed Barzargan's brother, Bijan, in a secret process in 1988 for his left-wing political activities.

Radio Farda reported that the 32-year-old Iranian painter Elham Modaresi, who has been detained in Kachoui, in the city of Karaj, started a hunger strike.

Modaresi accused the Iranian regime of forcing her to make a confession with respect to charges that included vandalizing public facilities.

Human rights NGOs and Western governments allege Iran’s regime uses forced confessions as a method to execute dissidents.

The German Christian Democratic Union Party MP Kerstin Vieregge is Modaresi’s political sponsor. She wrote to the Iranian Embassy in Berlin requesting medical treatment for Modaresi.

Laila Mirzo, who is German-Syrian and the editor-in-chief of The Jewish Review monthly paper in Germany, told the Post that the sponsor program is “symbolic politics.” Mirzo, who has published a tough series of articles against Iran’s regime, said there are “no serious hard consequences” from Germany’s government for the mullah regime in Tehran.

Mirzo said the German government could summon the Iranian regime’s ambassador for a dressing down and “completely end the trade relationship” with Iran’s regime. The Post reported last month that Germany earned over $1 billion in profits from Iran’s regime from January, 2022 to the end of October, 2022.

Mirzo noted that in addition to protests against Iran’s embassy in Berlin, protestors could demonstrate in front of the Bundestag (German parliament) calling for sanctions against Iran’s regime.

She said that “It is impressive that women are causing the mullahs to stagger.”

Women are causing the Iranian regime to stagger

The revolts gripping Iran started in mid-September after the regime reportedly murdered Mahsa Amini for failing to properly cover her hair with a hijab.

According to Radio Farda, in the first week of January, the lawyer for Mohammad Mehdi Karami, a prisoner sentenced to death, denied that he had the right to choose his own lawyer. The head of the Supreme Court in the Islamic Republic claims that all prisoners have the right to decide who their lawyer is.

Radio Farda reported that “According to reports published on social media, Fatemeh Nazarinejad, Fatemeh Mosleh Heidarzadeh, Niloufar Shakeri, Marzieh Mirghasemi, Shahrazad Derakhshan, Fatemeh Jamalpour, Hamideh Zeraei, Nilofar Kerdoni, Somayeh Masoumi, Fatemeh Harbi, Eniseh Mousavi, Jasmin Haj Mirzamohammadi and Maedeh Sohrabi are the other imprisoned protesters who have gone on a hunger strike."

The Norway-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said the theocratic state has killed 476 protesters so far.

Iran's regime has arrested at least 14,000 protesters since the upheaval against Tehran's rulers started.

The US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency said 19,000 Iranians have been arrested.