Political Prisoners Protest Cell Search with 72-hour Hunger Strike
Political prisoners in Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj are currently undergoing a 72-hour hunger strike in protest of degrading treatment by Special Guard forces, a local source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. On April 17, Special Guard forces stormed the prison’s Ward 4, Hall 12, where political prisoners are kept, and ransacked the prisoners’ personal belongings.
The act led to objections from political prisoners, who chanted “Death to the Dictator” and announced a 72-hour refusal of prison food.
According to the human rights activist, the Head Warden, Head of the prison’s Security Unit, and Head of the prison Special Guard were all present during the raid. “The 40 or so Special Guards forces who raided the ward transferred the prisoners to the General Hall and spent 1.5 hours on searching the prisoners’ room, ransacking their belongings and causing their protest. The political prisoners stated that they will embark on a three-day hunger strike starting on the eve of Wednesday, April 17, until Saturday, April 20, during which they will refuse prison food.”
Political prisoners are routinely denied access to their personal items. Items brought to prisons by families are regularly rejected or not delivered. The few items prisoners do get inside the prisons are treated with reverence and respect, and become valued parts of a prisoner’s life and identity. The mistreatment of their few belongings by prison guards, who sometimes check every item that enters the facility 20 times, is considered degrading by prisoners.