On Friday, July 23rd, Iranian human rights activist and political prisoner Narges Mohammadi released a message from Evin prison detailing her legal experiences, the end of her hunger strike, and her mental state as she suffers from longing for her family.
“I protest against oppression and the limitations towards the prisoners,” she said in the letter. “These constraints and unrelenting pressure are implemented as soon as the accused person is imprisoned in solitary confinement. This is the typical instance of psychological torture.”
Mohammadi, 31, has been imprisoned multiple times in Iran for her political activism; she has campaigned for women’s rights and against human rights abuses in Iran since she was a university student, and was first arrested in 1998. She was most recently arrested in May, and she began a hunger strike in June.
“Remember the mothers in solitary confinement units who pray fervently for their children,” she said in another part of the letter.
Remember the mothers and their yearnings to spend the night with their children while they pass the nights with pang and grief in prison. Remember the mothers who were aspiring for freedom and justice in mourning for their children. They are still keeping their vows and remember all women and mothers fighting for idealism in the world.
During this time, I protested against the oppression and restriction implemented on the political prisoners and the prisoners of conscience. [The Iranian government is] holding kangaroo courts and are sentencing the accused people to severe punishment. Additionally, the condition of wards in prison is not hygienic. In the meantime, the total strictness exerted to the political-ideological prisoners is blatantly seen all across the country. The female political prisoners are prohibited to use the phone in their ward while 17 women of the 27 prisoners are mothers and 4 of them have small children. Two women serve the time simultaneously with their husband in the prison so their children are without guardians. So far, they have been deprived of the furlough.
My strike was to protest against such cruel behavior that ignores the human rights of the prisoners and has imposed a double oppression on women and mothers. So, despite ending my hunger strike and surrendering to the demands of my loved ones, I declare that I will resort to any sort of protest in order to bring human rights and justice for the political-ideological prisoners. In this way, I ask for the help of lovers of liberty and peace-seekers. The Iranian authorities are well aware that the realization of human rights is now demonstrated in Iran as a serious demand and a rule for human life. Human rights are not abstract concepts. Rather, they have been intertwined with the ideals of the Iranian nation, and in the case of violation or negligence, the people express discontent. Therefore a deep and wide gap will be created between the people and the government.