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Jailed Iranian Journalist On Hunger Strike


Source: Radio Zamaneh

Issa Saharkhiz, an Iranian journalist who was returned to jail part way through his medical treatment in hospital, is refusing food and medication until the authorities heed his demands.

The Kaleme website reported on Monday, September 10, that the medical team at Rejai Shahr Prison, where Shahrkhiz was serving his sentence, announced that it was not able to provide for his medical needs and will not be responsible for him.

Issa Saharkhiz, according to the report, had been in hospital for the past six months to undergo treatment but, on August 28th, he was transferred to Evin Prison, at which time he began his food and medication strike.

Saharkhiz was arrested in July of 2009 in the widespread crackdown on protesters who claimed the presidential election had been rigged in favour of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Saharkhiz was charged with "insulting the leader and propaganda against the regime" and given a three-year sentence. However, last June, after he had served his time, the authorities refused to release him, and he remains in custody.

According to his son, the judiciary opened an old case against him and handed him another prison term of 18 months.

In June Shaharkhiz wrote a letter to Ahmad Shaheed, the UN's Special rapporteur for human rights in Iran, describing the dismal condition in Iranian prisons.

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