Sixty-four Iranian political prisoners from Ward 350 of Evin Prison have issued an announcement declaring that Reza Hoda Saber, the jailed Iranian journalist who died on Saturday following nearly 10 days on a hunger strike, was severely beaten by authorities on the eighth day of his strike.
The Kaleme website reports that the political prisoners say Hoda Saber was beaten in the prison infirmary by officials who, they guess, may have been security or intelligence officers.
"Hoda Saber was first transferred to the infirmary located next to Evin Prison on Friday at 4AM for complications of his hunger strike and, after about two hours, he was returned to the Ward 350 in severe pain," the prisoners wrote. "His screams woke up his cellmates all around him."
He reportedly told his cellmates that instead of being cared for at the infirmary, he was insulted and beaten and later thrown out by officials wearing infirmary personnel uniforms.
They add that Hoda Saber was trembling and writhing with pain and screaming that he would file charges against them.
According to the prisoners, Hoda Saber had been very healthy, getting regular exercise and reading regularly, in the year prior to this incident. The signatories include prominent journalists, lawyers and political activists such as Emadeddin Baghi, Mohammad Seifzadeh, Mohammad Sedigh Kaboodvand, Bahman Ahmadi Amouyi, Abdollah Momeni, Feizollah Arabsorkhi, Mohammad PourAbdollah and Ebrahim Madadi. They state: "We announce without a doubt that the current government is directly responsible for the death of Hoda Saber, and this unpleasant incident is not the first and will not be the last if the current situation is allowed to continue."
The statement also reinforces their demands for civil rights and the government's adherence to the law.
Reza Hoda Saber died on June 12 after going nearly ten days on a hunger strike at Evin Prison, protesting what he referred to as the "murder of Haleh Sahabi" at the funeral of her father, the aged Nationalist-religious leader.
Hoda Saber's death has triggered outrage both in the ranks of the Iranian opposition and among international rights groups.
Reporters Without Borders accuses the authorities of precipitating the death of the political activist with his arbitrary arrest and delay in providing adequate medical care for him after onset of his health complications.
Hoda Saber was laid to rest today under heavy security measures in Tehran's Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery and the Islamic Republic authorities have made no comment about the controversy surrounding his death.
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