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Iran: Admiration For A 61-Year-Old Post-Election Detainee Who Is On Hunger Strike

Source: RFE/RL

A group of postelection detainees who had gone on hunger strike in Tehran's Evin prison for the past two weeks have reportedly ended their hunger strike. 

Keyvan Samimi (undated)

The "Kaleme" website, which is close to opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, posted a letter on August 9 in which 15 detainees said that they ended their strike in response to calls by Musavi and other senior figures of the opposition Green Movement.

We reported earlier that 17 political prisoners had originally gone on hunger strike. One of them was released on August 8; another is said to be continuing his hunger strike.

Journalist Keyvan Samimi, who was among the 17, is reportedly still refusing to eat but, according to some reports, is now drinking water and other liquids. A member of Samimi's family and a friend have said that he is determined to continue his hunger strike until all 15 detainees are transferred from solitary confinement to the general ward of the Evin prison.

A popular blogger, "Agh Bahman," has written a tribute to Keyvan Samimi:

I haven't met Keyvan samei. Even if I have, it must have been in a group and I don't remember him. I mean unlike many of the other prisoners, I don't have a personal memory about him. But I have this strange feeling that I've known him, maybe because he is 61 years old, just like my father, and he looks a bit like him.

In the past several days while reading statements about the hunger strike [of the detainees], something struck: the fact that in the statements there was talk about young men who are fighting oppression with their health. I kept telling myself: "Samimi is not young in any sense, please don't [forget him]."

It seems that the fatherly image that I had about samimi wasn't [wrong]. I'm sure you've read that he hasn't ceased his strike [intended to get] all his "sons" transferred to the general ward; he's resisting there, waiting for at least one of his demands to be met.

So if you find a way, please let him know that I deeply admire him.

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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