Take Action! – Prisoner Of Conscience On Hunger Strike Against His Detention (Iran: UA 257/16)
Prisoner of conscience Ali Shariati, a 30-year-old civil society activist, started a hunger strike on 31 October when he was arrested and taken to Tehran’s Evin Prison to begin serving a five-year prison sentence. He stopped drinking water on 5 November. After a rapid deterioration in his health, he is experiencing breathing difficulties, a rapid heartbeat, severe drops in his blood pressure, high blood density, kidney pain, and slurred speech. He has lost consciousness several times. The Office of Prosecutor is persisting in its refusal to release him and has told his family “they do not care if he dies”.
Ali Shariati was arrested on 18 February 2015. For the next five months, he was held in solitary confinement in Section 209 of Evin Prison, where he underwent intense interrogations and was denied access to a lawyer throughout. He met his lawyer for the first time at his trial, which was limited to two brief sessions, one on 20 June and another on 31 August 2015. In September 2015, he was sentenced by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran to 12 years and nine months in prison. He was convicted of several charges including “gathering and colluding against national security”, “spreading propaganda against the system”, “insulting the revered Supreme Leader” and “insulting the President”. The charges against him stemmed solely from his peaceful activism, including: participating in a peaceful demonstration outside parliament in 2014 to condemn a series of acid attacks against women in the city of Esfahan, central Iran; attending peaceful gatherings held outside Evin Prison in solidarity with political prisoners; distributing on the streets of Tehran packages that contained a chocolate and a green sheet of paper appealing for the release of opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, and the latter’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard; posting information about the suppression of peaceful protests and other human rights violations in Iran on his Facebook and Telegram accounts; and corresponding with the Persian service of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and human rights activists abroad. On 10 July 2015, he was transferred to Section 8 of Evin Prison and was held there until May 2016, when he was granted leave. In June 2016, he was informed that Branch 54 of the Court of Appeal in Tehran had acquitted him of all charges except “gathering and colluding against national security” and accordingly reduced his prison term from 12 years to five.
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
- Calling on the Iranian authorities to release Ali Shariati immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly;
- Calling on them to ensure he has access to a qualified health professional who can provide health care in compliance with medical ethics, including the principles of confidentiality, autonomy and informed consent;
- Calling on them to ensure that he is protected from any punishment for his hunger strike.
Office of the Supreme Leader
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
۶۲۲ Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Fax: (212) 867-7086 I Phone: (212) 687-2020 I Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Salutation: Your Excellency2) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION
Here’s why it is so important to report your actions: we record the number of actions taken on each case and use that information in our advocacy. Either email email@example.com with “UA 257/16” in the subject line or click this link.