Khaled Pirzadeh Sent on Sick Leave After a 15-day Hunger Strike

Political prisoner Khaled Pirzadeh was sent on sick leave on the 15th day of his hunger strike.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the political prisoner had been on a hunger strike since May 31 in the Greater Tehran Prison.

Earlier this year, Pirzadeh went on a hunger strike following the failure of authorities to fulfill their promise to agree to parole. Pirzadeh ended his hunger strike in March after authorities promised that his demands would be met, but they did not follow through.

Pirzadeh reportedly told prison officials that this time he would end his hunger strike only when he is with his wife and child.

This demonstration, Pirzadeh’s second hunger strike of the year, was in response to prison officials’ denial of visitations and leave in the 25 months since his imprisonment.

Khaled Pirzadeh on Day 9 of Hunger Strike in Greater Tehran Prison

Khaled Pirzadeh has been on a hunger strike since May 31 in the Greater Tehran Prison.  This demonstration, Pirzadeh’s second hunger strike of the year,  is in response to prison officials’ denial of visitations and leave in the 25 months since his imprisonment.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Pirzadeh has suffered from low blood pressure, digestive problems, and severe pain in his muscles, joints, and eyes as a result of the hunger strike.

Earlier this year, Pirzadeh went on a hunger strike following the failure of authorities to fulfill their promise to agree to parole. Pirzadeh ended his hunger strike in March after authorities promised that his demands would be met, but they did not follow through.

In May of 2019, the political prisoner was sentenced by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, to 5 years in prison, and an additional 2 years for “insulting the leadership”.  According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, of the 7 total years, 5 can be enforced on Pirzadeh on the charge of “conspiracy and collusion”.

Khaled Pirzadeh underwent foot surgery in August 2020. His legs and spine were severely damaged during detention and required further surgery and physiotherapy. He was also barred from being hospitalized in December 2020 despite having a heart problem.

Prison officials have now asked Pirzadeh to end his strike and promised to address Mr. Pirzadeh’s demands, as before. Whether Pirzadeh accepts their offer given the dubious precedent they have set remains to be seen.