Iranian senior cleric Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani has told political prisoner Mohammad Javad Mozaffar that he and other hunger strikers have a religious duty to end their dangerous protest.
Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani during a meeting with families of political prisoners (April 2010 file photo)
Kaleme opposition website reports that Ayatollah Zanjani told Mozaffar in conversation that: "This country needs loved ones like you in order to achieve freedom and rebuilding."
Currently, 12 political prisoners in Evin Prison and another six in Rejaishahr Prison are refusing food to protest the death of fellow inmate Reza Hoda Saber, who died 10 days into a hunger strike, and Haleh Sahabi, another political prisoner who died when government forces overran her father's funeral.
Saber's fellow prisoners have declared that he was badly beaten at Evin Prison infirmary during his hunger strike.
Several political figures have urged the prisoners to end their strike out of concern for their health.
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, as well as the Islamic Association of Iranian Physicians and the children of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have appealed to the strikers to resume taking food.
Today, the Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope, the umbrella group that has spoken for the Iranian opposition since Mousavi and Karroubi were put under house arrest, has called on the special United Nations Rapporteur for Iran, Ahmad Shaheed, to pay immediate attention to the plight of the political prisoners who are on hunger strike.
Council spokesman Ardeshir AmirArjmand announced today that the council is ready to cooperate with Shaheed and provide him with records documenting scores of human rights violations in Iran.
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