Jul 08, 2011

Iranian Kurdistan: Detained Political Activist on Hunger Strike Left to Die

Kurdish Journalist and Political Activist Kamal Sharifi refuses food in protest of poor conditions in prison.  Denied access to him since his arrest three years ago, his family fears that he will soon die.

Below is an article published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

Jailed Kurdish journalist Kamal Sharifi is on a hunger strike to protest the poor prison conditions and the violation of his rights, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

His sister, Mahnaz Sharifi, told Radio Farda on July 6 that Sharifi began the strike in late May in the Minab prison in southeastern Iran.

In 2009, Sharifi was convicted by a Revolutionary Court in Saghez, located in Kurdistan Province, of cooperation with the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan and "sedition against God."

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison in internal exile and a ban on prison visits during his sentence.

Mahnaz Sharifi said Kamal is being kept with dangerous criminals and is the only political activist in that prison ward.

She said her brother has requested a brief meeting with the judge in his case, but this request has been denied.

Kamal Sharifi's sister added that due to the harsh sentence issued against her brother his family has not visited him since his arrest three years ago.

"My father and brother requested that the judge who issued the sentence let them visit Kamal in order to talk him out of the hunger strike, but the judge said there was no need to do so, let him die!" Mahnaz Sharifi said.