ICC Note: A Christian prisoner started another hunger strike earlier last month when he and two other Christians were denied of their request for conditional release. Mr. Hakkani’s first hunger strike lasted for 7 weeks despite having physical health issues. After he broke his hunger strike, he had to be transferred to the prison’s clinic for internal bleeding and digestive problems. Mr. Hakkani isn’t the only Christian suffering at the hands of Iranian prisons. Along with the two other Christians he is imprisoned with, two other pastors have been imprisoned in Iran for their faith. Pastor Abedini and Pastor Irani have both been arrested for crimes against national security.
07/03/14 Iran (Mohabat News) – Vahid Hakkani, Christian prisoner in Shiraz prison, started another hunger strike to protest authorities’ rejection of his and two other Christian prisoners request for conditional release. Hunger strike is a prisoner’s last resort to express their objection to a certain matter.
According to Mohabat News, Vahid Hakkani resumed his hunger strike on Monday, June 23 because a court refused to grant him and two other Christian prisoners’ their plea for conditional release. Mr. Hakkani started his previous hunger strike on March 20, 2014 for the same reason.
The first time, Mr. Hakkani’s hunger strike lasted for more than 7 weeks, despite having some physical problems. At that time, Mr. Hakkani broke his hunger strike after another Christian prisoner Mohammad-Reza Partoei (Kourosh) was granted conditional release.
The Revolutionary Court of Shiraz had sentenced Kourosh, who is also a Chrsitian convert, along with Vahid Hakkani and two other Christian converts to three years and eight months for converting from Islam to Christianity and refusing to recant their faith in Christ. The Revolutionary Court eventually released Koroush conditionally on May 13, 2014.
At the end of his first hunger strike, Mr. Hakkani had to be transferred to the prison’s clinic as his health was at a critical point. In addition, even before going on the hunger strike, he had been suffering from internal bleeding and a digestive system problem to the point where he had to be transferred to a hospital for surgery once.
Prison authorities, aware of his health problem, deliberately put him under mental pressure for different reasons because he has gone on another hunger strike. According to a report, prison authorities have even confiscated his personal belongings in his cell. In another attempt to put more pressure on him to break his hunger strike, prison guards do not give him his rightful turn to make phone calls.