We have an important victory to announce thanks to the the tireless work completed by the union and civil rights activists based in Iran, Mustafa Rahmani (human rights activist based in Turkey), Maryam Nayeb Yazdi (human rights activist based in Canada), Kaveh Taheri (Journalist & human rights activist based in Turkey), Hesam Yousefi (left-wing activist based in Germany), Aynaz Anni Cyrus (human rights activist based in America) Boroujerdi Civil Rights Group, and Live Up to Freedom.
These Humanitarian workers, have again have secured the release of Jafar Azimzadeh, a prisoner of conscience at Evin prison who has been gravely ill. We are happy to announce that after 64 days of hunger strike, Jafar was temporarily released pending his Appeals Court Date. He will now be able to get the medical attention he desperately needs to save his life and will most certainly be transferred to the hospital.
“Jafar Azimzadeh is a free man again because of his passion for humanity! he is a true fighter and a hero. The victory is the people’s”, Kaveh Taheri told LUTF.
Here is Jafar’s story:
The plight of 50-year-old Jafar Azimzadeh, began when he was reported to be in dire condition during a hunger strike. On the morning of June 27th, 2016, 50-year-old Jafar was left for a few hours unconscious on the 61st day of his hunger strike. He was transferred to Sina hospital from the notorious Evin prison on the 51st day of his hunger strike. Terhan’s prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi stated he would do nothing for Azimzadeh even if he dies.
Jafar Azimzadeh, a labor activist and Chairman of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, started his hunger strike on April 30th, 2016 for his basic rights of removing the charges of “associating and colluding with intent to act against national security” from the open files of protesting workers and teachers, imprisoned activists, and an end to treating social and civil protests as national security issues.
Before he lapsed in to unconsciousness, Jafar, who is a prisoner of conscience, wrote a letter stating “We protest to wages under the line of poverty, the ban on holding independent and free celebration to mark the International Workers Day and Teachers Day. The release of Esmail Abdi can’t be used as a claim of addressing our demands and that of millions of workers and teachers. Therefore with a large appreciation and support of Iran’s teachers, workers and labor, I will continue my hunger strike”
On July 30, 2016; the 64th day of his hunger strike it was reported Jafar’s health had deteriorated drastically. Reports from Sina Hospital in Tehran reveal he is suffering from severe pain and bleeding in his intestine and stomach. Specialists at Sina state that “Azimzadeh would be in a coma and risks death if things continue his hunger strike. However Iran’s Judiciary officials are turning a blind eye to his plight.
Amnesty released a statement expressing concern over Jafar Azimzadeh’s dire condition stating: “Iranian trade unionist Jafar Azimzadeh, the Chair of the Free Union of Workers of Iran, lost consciousness on 27 June following a two-month-long hunger strike. He has been hospitalized since 18 June due to his deteriorating health, but is at risk of being returned to Tehran’s Evin Prison, where his life may be at risk. He is a prisoner of conscience”.
Therefore, Boroujerdi Civil Rights Group asks for “an end to this most extreme cruel treatment” for the brave worker rights activist Jafar Azimzadeh by writing immediately in Persian, English or your own language.
He was sentenced to six years in prison and a two year ban of membership in the Labor parties as well as a ban on cyber activities on the vague charges on assembly and collusion against national security and disturbing public order. He was one of the coordinators of a petition gathering signatures for the increase of minimum wage when he was arrested.
Clearly the charges against Jafar are false and his imprisonment is unwarranted. The biggest and most cruel injustice lies in the lack of medical care he has been denied as a result of his hunger strike.
Until the aggressive work done by the Humanitarian groups and individuals mentioned at the beginning of this story, World leaders had been silent to Jafar’s courageous fight for the rights of workers and teachers. His story of suffering is abomination to civil rights everywhere and a crime against humanity. A call for every compassionate world citizen to speak out against this severe injustice was in order. We again express our deepest gratitude for the work of Boroujerdi Civil Rights Group, Live Up to Freedom, Mustafa Rahmani , Maryam Nayeb Yazdi , Kaveh Taheri, Hesam Yousefi, Aynaz Anni Cyrus, for drawing attention to this most extreme cruel treatment for a brave human rights activist! We will continue to keep you updated as news of his condition and status comes to us.