Imprisoned Civil Rights Activist Farhad Meysami Enters 38th Day of Hunger Strike

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The health condition of Farhad Meysami — who declared hunger strike the day after his arrest on July 31st in protest to his detention and the denial of his right to a lawyer of his choice — is in steady decline.

A source close to the matter told HRANA, “His blood pressure dropped very low on Saturday, September 8th. The doctor recommended he be treated in a hospital or the prison clinic, saying that his vital signs would remain unstable otherwise. He has lost 14 kilograms [30 pounds] since the start of his hunger strike, and weighs 64.5 kilograms [142 pounds] now.”

Suffering from intestinal colitis that he has been treating with medication for the past 18 years, Meysami has announced that his diet will be limited to that medicine, and will only end his hunger strike if Reza Khandan, the husband of imprisoned lawyer and human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, is unconditionally released.

Meysami was arrested by security forces in his personal library on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, and during his interrogation was charged with “Collusion and conspiracy to threaten national security,” “Disseminating propaganda against the regime,” and “Insulting the hijab, an essential sacrament of Islam.” On Monday, September 3rd, Branch 7 of Evin Court added “Propagation of corruption and decadence” to his charging document.

Human Rights Watch previously issued a statement in which they mentioned Meysami’s ordeal, asking Iranian authorities to stop the repression of human rights defenders and immediately release those who are being persecuted for their peaceful expressions of dissent.

Amnesty International also appealed to Iranian authorities, opposing their crackdown on civil society and unlawful detention of lawyers and human rights activists including Farhad Meysami. They demanded these prisoners’ immediate release, and that authorities provide every detainee with access to a lawyer of their choice at the time of their arrest.

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