Nine Women Political Prisoners go on Hunger Strike to Protest Abuse by Evin Prison Guards

 

On October 31, nine female inmates at Evin prison went on hunger strike to protest mistreatment.  On the previous day, the Evin women’s ward, which houses human rights activists, journalists, and political prisoners, was raided by 20 guards.  The officials subjected the detainees to harassment, hours of inspection of their personal belongings, and finally, forced body searches.  The prisoners reported verbal abuse and sexual assault.  On November 6, Bahareh Hedayat, Nazanin Dihimi, Jila Baniyaghoub, Shiva Nazarahari, Mahsa Amrabadi, Hakimeh Shokri, Jila Karamzadeh Makvandi, and Nasim Soltan Beygi ended their strike and, with other political prisoners, wrote an open letter to the Chief of Evin Prison requesting acknowledgment of mistreatment and an apology.

During the same time, Iranian human rights defender and One Million Signatures Campaigner Nasrin Sotoudeh was also on a hunger striketo protest denial of visitation rights, an 18-month restriction on phone calls, and the international travel ban placed on her 12-year-old daughter. 

Many groups and organizations have decried the conduct of Evin’s officials, including Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International, and Change for Equality, which collected signatures from 22 women’s groups and 275 activists from 35 countries.  Additionally, more than 95 activistsurged the prisoners to end their strike so as to not put their health in danger.

On November 11, it was reportedthat all guards and officials working at Evin’s women’s ward, including the head, were transferred to another prison.

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