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Baghi: Iranian Political Prisoners Hunger Strike "Not Political"

Radio Farda Newsroom

Islamic activist Emadeddin Baghi, spokesman of the committee for defense of political prisoners, tells Radio Farda that the hunger strike of political prisoners at the Evin prison is humanitarian, not political. The strikers have been asked by human rights groups to end their strike, in consideration of their poor health.

July 24, 2004 - "The political prisoners' hunger strike is not political," according to a statement issued today by the committee for defense of political prisoners.

The hunger strike of a group of political prisoners at the Evin prison, headed by lawyer Nasser Zarafshan, which began on July 5, was a protest against the security forces' raid on the house of labor activist Mostafa Piran, father of jailed student activist Peyman Piran, during which the family was evicted from their state-owned rental apartment.

Mostafa Piran, a retired teacher, had occupied an apartment which belongs to the education ministry. He could not evacuate the apartment after his retirement a few years ago, despite several notices he received from the ministry, Islamic activist and writer Emadeddin Baghi, a founder of the committee for defense of political prisoners, tells Radio Farda's broadcaster Amir Armin.

"The education ministry obtained an eviction order from the judiciary and put out Piran family's belongings in the street, adds Baghi, a veteran of the Evin prison, whose newspaper Jumhouriyat was closed by the judiciary last week 12 days after it began publication.

"Because of the angry reaction he showed during the eviction, court marshals arrested Mostafa Piran," Baghi says. "Considering the conditions of the family with two members in jail, the education ministry under President Khatami had better be more considerate and wait for a more appropriate time to execute the eviction order."

Many prisoners joined Peyman Piran in the hunger strike he began at the prison to protest the arrest of his father and the eviction of his family, Baghi says. A few prisoners are still on strike, and two of them are in bad physical shape, he adds. "In consideration for their own health, we urged them to end their strike, which is more of a humanitarian nature than political," Baghi says.

"But from a different point of view, in a country which everything, including social and economic issues, assume a political nature, one can say this strike is political too," he says.

... Payvand News - 7/25/04 ... --

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