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Political Prisoners’ solidarity with Mehdi Karroubi’s Hunger Strike

Mehdi Karroubi, one of the three leaders of what came to be known as the Green Movement, and has been under house arrest for the نرگس-محمدی-کروبی-300x300past 7 years, since the rigged presidential elections of 2009 and the mass protests that met with the regime’s brutality, went on hunger strike in protest at the presence of intelligence agents stationed inside his home, and demanded a trial. The news was relayed by his wife, Fatemeh Karroubi, announcing that he had ‘asked for the intelligence agents to leave his house, given that since the Revolution it was unprecedented that intelligence agents would be stationed in the home of the detainee, that cameras and recorders would be installed and every aspect of the detainee’s personal life would be monitored, and make life extremely difficult for the individual and his family in the strangest way. As mentioned in separate letters to Mr. Rouhani and Mr. Motahari, he demanded that he should be given a trial in open court’. Mrs. Karroubi added that after 6 years under house arrest, Mehdi Karroubi asked that the date of the trial should be set as soon as possible. ‘Of course the court should be an open one, according to Article 168 of the Constitution, so that Mr. Karroubi can answer the regime’s trumped up charges, alongside his lawyers, so that he can let people know what is on his mind. This is a very important aspect of his demand, and one that he has stressed since the start of his detention.’
‘As the former leader of the legislature, Mr. Karroubi believes that extrajudicial punishment is illegal and no one has the right to act outside the law and punish an individual. Any punishment must be sanctioned by the courts. Mr. Karroubi is aware of the structure of judiciary and its level of independence and hence he does not expect a just trial, however, he believes that the continuation of this process and the disregard for due process is something very dangerous that will lead to illegality. He has stressed that he will not object to the sentence of the court, even though many did object to the sentences of the pre-Revolution courts of the Monarchist courts.’
‘Before his second trip to the hospital he sent messages to state officials including the Minister for Health and warned that if his arbitrary detention continues without an open trial, he will go on hunger strike. The absence of a response from the authorities has led Mr. Karroubi to the decision to proceed with the hunger strike. He believes that this process and its continuation are aimed at shortening the life of the detainees, without having given them the chance to defend themselves against accusations, and illegal and immoral treatment’.
Mehdi Karroubi had demanded that the agents should leave the house and stay in the kiosks placed outside the house, instead.
This announcement was followed by acts of solidarity by many former political prisoners and activists. Narges Mohammadi, political prisoner in the women’s wing of Evin prison commenced a (wet) hunger strike in solidarity with Karroubi.
According to Kalameh, (the website of the Green Movement), she made a statement in the Evin prison, declaring: ‘The holding under house arrest, of Rahravard, Karroubi and Mousavi is illegal and cruel. I, Narges Mohammadi, will go on a wet hunger strike from 17th August 2017, alongside him and in support of his demands’.
Mehdi Mahmoudian, a former political prisoner and member of the Participation Party, joined Karroubi’s hunger strike in solidarity. He added a message on twitter: ‘I, Mehdi Mahmoudian, a son of Iran, will refrain from eating or drinking anything other than water, salt and sugar, in support of the just demands of Sheikh Mehdi Karroubi’.
Following this message, Mahdieh Golroo, former political prisoner and member of the Assembly for the Defence of the Right to Education, tweeted: ‘I, Mahdieh Golroo, a son of Iran, will refrain from eating or drinking anything other than water, salt and sugar, in support of the just demands of Sheikh Mehdi Karroubi’.
Gradually, the list of those who have gone on hunger strike in support of Karroubi became longer. Among those on hunger strike are: Bahareh Hedayat, Ali Jamali, Mohammad Reza Jalayipour, Sajedeh Arabsorkhi, Siavash Hatami, Rouhollah Nakh’I, Bahman Borna, Sajedeh KianooshRaad, Nima Golestani, Naser Shoja’I, Nariman Mostafavi, Mamid Hodavand, Marzieh Heidari, and others.
Another group of individuals contacted their representative member of parliament or texted them, and asked for a response to the demand and action of Mehdi Karroubi.
Many also contacted their local religious leaders and asked ‘what is to be done in the face of such injustice?’
Following the dry hunger strike of Mehdi Karroubi, a number of political activists and ordinary people declared that they have gone on hunger strike.
In the past few hours, Mehdi Karroubi’s family have issued a statement announcing he has ended his hunger strike following the regime conceding to the removal of the intelligence agents from his house. He will stay in hospital due to his heart condition.
MaZanan 18.08.2017

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