The health of Iranian prisoner of conscience Saeed Hosseinzadeh, a children’s rights activist currently on hunger strike, is deteriorating rapidly. He started his hunger strike more than 20 days ago in protest at the authorities’ refusal to release him, despite doctors declaring him unfit to remain in prison due to his poor health.
Saeed Hosseinzadeh, a 24-year-old children’s rights activist who is serving a five-year prison term for his peaceful activism, started a hunger strike on 19 February. He has stopped taking liquids since 9 March. He has also stopped taking the medicine he needs for a number of illnesses. He is protesting at the authorities’ refusal to release him on the advice of doctors, including prison doctors that he is unfit to remain in prison due to his ill health. Amnesty International understands that Saeed Hosseinzadeh suffers from several illnesses, including heart disease and joint, digestive and respiratory problems. However, the Sarrollah Unit of the Revolutionary Guards, which carried out the investigations in his case including the interrogations, has apparently blocked his release or medical leave, putting his life in grave danger. Saeed Hosseinzadeh was arrested in October 2014 in his home in Tehran and was taken to Section 2A of Evin Prison . He was held there for nearly three months including 10 days in solitary confinement. He had no access to a lawyer and says that he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated. His March 2015 trial before a Revolutionary Court in Tehran was extremely brief. He met his lawyer for the first time during the hearing. The court convicted him of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “gathering and colluding against national security” in relation to his peaceful activities such as opposing the death penalty and participating in peaceful gatherings. His sentence has been upheld by an appeal court.