Independent News Editor in “Terrible Shape” After One-Month Hunger Strike
The health of Amirhossein Mohammadifar, the detained editor-in-chief of the independent “Gam” Telegram app news channel, has severely deteriorated since he has been on hunger strike for nearly a month in Tehran’s Evin Prison, his mother-in-law Golkhanom Norouzi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on August 1, 2019.
“We heard Amirhossein was in terrible shape,” she said. “His mother went to see him in prison on Sunday [July 28] but she was not given permission to see him. The authorities have even banned him from contacting his wife on the phone. They want to punish him.”
Arrested on January 9, 2019, after covering protests for workers’ rights via the Telegram app channel, Mohammadifar and his detained wife and colleague, journalist Sanaz Allahyari, began a hunger strike on July 3, 2019, to protest their prolonged detention.
Allahyari ended her hunger strike after almost two weeks.
“On the last day [July 15] of her hunger strike, Sanaz fainted and her cellmates took her to the clinic,” Norouzi told CHRI.
Norouzi, who last visited her daughter in Evin Prison on July 28, added: “My daughter is not feeling well. She is pale and thin. After I saw her I went to Judge [Mohammad] Moghiseh’s office but I was not allowed to have a meeting with him.”
“I cry all the time,” she said. “I don’t know why they won’t release her on bail. I’m worried about her.”
Two other Gam reporters are also facing prosecution for their reporting on workers’ rights protests: Ali (Amir) Amirgholi has been detained since January 16, 2019, and Asal Mohammadi was released on bail on January 5, 2019, one month after she was arrested.
All four have been charged with “assembly and collusion against national security,” “forming groups with the intention to disturb national security” and “contacts with anti-state organizations.”
Their trial date has not been announced.