January Protests: Third Day of Hunger Strike for Prisoner Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour
Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour, a political prisoner being held at Nashtaroud Prison of Tunekabon, has been on hunger strike for three days.
For her participation in the January protests in Tunekabon, Ahmadpour was sentenced in the city’s Revolutionary Court, and Branch 101 of its Penal Court, to 10 months in prison. She has been serving her sentence since August 14, 2018.
Ahmadpour declared hunger strike on Monday September 10, 2018 in protest to a lack of medical attention, authorities’ refusal to allow her access to the prison phone, and of prison authorities, who have reportedly threatened to develop a new case file against her.
An informed source elaborated to HRANA, “When they didn’t let Ahmadpour use the phone, it led to an argument. Instead of escalating the matter for handling by authorities, Mrs. Sha’bani the guard got involved, insulting the prisoner and threatening to get prison and security authorities to pursue further charges against her.”
One day after the incident, the guard told Ahmadpour that a new case file had been opened against her, charging her with blasphemy, even while the content of Ahmadpour’s altercation with Sha’bani was reportedly limited to their disagreement over use of the phone.
The source added, “Ahmadpour is anemic, and is supposed to receive seven units of blood every month. Due to her anemia, she has a high chance of developing leukemia and has to receive regular monthly injections as a preventative measure. Despite these conditions and supporting medical documentation, the prison authorities have not permitted her to be transferred to the hospital for her treatments.”
Mahin-Taj Ahmadpour is a 46-year-old resident of Tunekabon. A peddler by trade, she was arrested along with 14 other residents during the January 2018 countrywide rallies known as the January Protests. The Revolutionary Court of Tunekabon sentenced eight of these arrestees to 28 months’ imprisonment, divided among the defendants. Branch 101 of Criminal Court No. 2 of Tunekabon, presided by Judge Ebrahimi, also sentenced six of the arrestees to 24 collective months of prison time.
Ahmadpour was sentenced May 2, 2018 in Branch 101 of Tunekabon Criminal Court No. 2 to serve six-months prison sentence on a charge of “disrupting the public peace through participation in an illegal gathering.” On August 11, 2018, Tunekabon’s Revolutionary Court compounded the sentence with four months’ imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime.” As evidence against her, the court cited a combination of law enforcement reports and images and video taken during the January protests in Tunekabon.