Civil Activist Saba Kord Afshari on Hunger Strike in Qarchak Prison

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, civil activist Saba Kord Afshari went on a hunger strike on Saturday, May 8th.

22-year-old Kord Afshari, currently imprisoned in Qarchak Prison in Varamin, went on said strike to protest the increasing pressure on her family and other political prisoners in the aftermath of her public criticism of the compulsory hijab.

Kord Afshari demands the release of her mother, Raheleh Ahmadi, who was sent to Evin Prison for giving information about her daughter’s [Saba’s] living conditions in Qarchak.

While in Evin Prison, Raheleh Ahmadi developed a ruptured disc which relegated her to a walker, likely due to chronic stress after her daughter’s imprisonment. Ahmadi was granted medical leave on bail on March 14th, but was denied by prison authorities the two-month recovery period recommended for her surgery.

On April 3, 2021, Saba Kord Afshari was granted a short-term leave on a bail and returned to prison on April 10. On that same day, Ahmadi was returned to Evin Prison.

Kord Afshari’s embroilment in the penal system has been ongoing . In February 2019,  the young activist was released from the women’s ward of Evin Prison from her previous conviction. In June 2019, she was again detained by security forces and was later transferred to prison after interrogations.

In August 2019, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari, sentenced Saba to 15 years imprisonment on the charge of “spreading depravity by uncovering a hijab and walking without a hijab”; 1 year and 6 months in prison on the charge of “Propaganda against the regime;” and 7 years and 6 months in prison for “Gathering and colluding with the intention of committing a crime against the security of the country”– a total of 24 years in prison along with other social deprivations.

Due to the multiplicity of offenses and previous criminal record, each of the charged sentences were cumulative, of which 15 years in prison was enforceable.

With a correction of judicial misconduct that had caused two and half times to increase in the sentences, and with punishment reduction law, 7 years and 6 months imprisonment will be enforceable.

Saba Kord Afshari has suffered from gastrointestinal bleeding several times before. This, along with the hunger strike has raised concerns about her health among her family members.

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