Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hunger-striking detainee's family protest outside Tehran prison

Monsters and Critics:
Naser Zarafshan's family and some of the members of the group known as "Iran's Pro-Democracy Alliance" (20 people) gathered outside Evin Prison's main gate this morning to call for his release.

According to Naser Zarafshan's wife, he embarked on a hunger strike (in prison) yesterday, Tuesday.

Homa Zarafshan added: "In view of Zarafshan's kidney problems, this is very dangerous for him." READ MORE

Zarafshan's wife told IRNA's reporter: "My husband has not been granted prison leave for the past six months and he is currently in poor health."

The participants called for Zarafshan's release with placards bearing the phrases "Naser Zarafshan must be released", "Murderers and thieves are granted leave, the doctor [Dr Zarafshan] is still in jail", "Naser Zarafshan is only in jail because he seeks justice".

Naser Zarafshan was detained in Mordad [13]81 [August 2002] on the charge of revealing state secrets.

He was one of the lawyers involved in the case of the serial killings and was sentenced to five years in jail and 70 lashes. [The "serial killings" refers to the killing of a number of writers and political activists in Tehran in the autumn of 1998 which were said to have been carried out by Intelligence Ministry personnel.]