Maryam Naghash, an Iranian political prisoner, is reportedly in critical condition on the 22nd day of the hunger strike she launched earlier this month. She began the hunger strike after demanding her unconditional release from prison by Iranian security forces. In 2013, Naghash was arrested and had her home raided by the Iranian state security apparatus, and was eventually prosecuted for dissemination of anti-government propaganda.
Her hunger strike has been closely watched by human rights observers and activists, who have recently shown increased concern for the condition of Iranian political prisoners. Naghash has previously refused to receive treatment from prison medical personnel because of what she calls their mistreatment of prisoners. After two weeks she began showing symptoms of physical deterioration, and her family recently said that she is now suffering from low blood pressure and sensations of numbness in her lower legs. Doctors in Evin Prison, where she is held, have confirmed that she has a heart condition but have not permitted her medical leave. She was last granted medical leave for 11 days on June 6.
Her hunger strike was launched not long after that of fellow political prisoner Narges Mohammadi, who recently ended her strike after her family pleaded with her to protect her own life.
Naghash, like Mohammadi, has worked to expose the inaccessibility of medical help and the inhumane conditions of prison life in Iran. She has also drawn attention to the extrajudicial imprisonment of political dissidents in Iran.