The British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) is deeply concerned about the alarming situation of political prisoners in ward 4 in Gohardasht prison, who are on hunger strike to protest the authorities’ harsh treatment and a brutal attack on inmates in this ward on July 30.

According to reports from Iran and human rights activists, these political prisoners were insulted and beaten by the prison guards and have been taken to solitary confinement.

Their health and security are now at risk because of their hunger strike and increased repressive measures by the prison authorities depriving them of the most basic need like minimum hygiene products, decent clothing and necessary medical treatment.

These political prisoners are identified as Abolqassem Fouladvand, Hassan Sadeghi, Saeed Masouri, Reza Akbari Monfared, Jafar Eqdami, Amir Qaziyan, Khaled Heradani, Zaniyar Moradi, Loqman Moradi, Mohammad Banazadeh, Amir Khizi, Pirouz Mansouri, Majid Assadi and Payam Shakiba.

They are being targeted deliberately because of their vocal dissent against the theocratic regime, its repression in Iran and public support for Iran’s democratic opposition, the PMOI. Amnesty International has highlighted and issued Urgent Action appeals for a number of these political prisoners in the past.

The vicious targeting on these political prisoners comes in the wake of 13 new hangings on August 10, including the execution of a juvenile offender, and the 29 anniversary of the 1988 massacre of 30.000 political prisoners. It is also consistent with a new report by Amnesty International published earlier in August, which documents a vicious crackdown on human rights activists under Rouhani.

The BCFIF warns about the safety and well-being of these political prisoners due to their deteriorating health and the fact that they are being denied medical treatment or even risk of being executed.

We urge the government, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran to condemn the unacceptable treatment of political prisoners in Iran and to act for their immediate release.

Professor the Lord Alton of Liverpool

Independent Crossbench Member of the House of Lords

British Committee for Iran Freedom

14 August 2017