ERBIL — More than 40 Iranian Kurdish detainees in a prison in Urmia, Western Azerbaijan province, have gone on a hunger strike in protest against a decision to prevent sick prisoners from visiting medical centers.
Hengaw Organization for Human Rights cited local sources as revealing that a total of 43 individuals, detained over political and religious views, have announced a hunger strike, demanding that sick prisoners should be allowed to receive medical treatment outside the jail.
The detainees have sent a written letter to the head of the prison, in which they have made it clear that they would continue their strike until their demands are met, the monitor added.
According to the human rights group, 12 Kurdish prisoners held in the central prison of Urmia are suffering from medical problems but prevented from visiting any medical centers outside the prison despite the fact that doctors and health officials in the jail have mentioned the inmates should receive medical treatment outside the site.
The 12 prisoners were identified as Dara Rashidi, Anwar Chalshi, Kamel Seydani Maskan, Naib Askari, Naib Hajizadeh, Ahmad Tamavi, Sirvan Amini, Mokhtar Ebrahimi, Mohammad Houshangi, Hatem Azdmir, Shakehr Behrozi and Taher Hosseinzadeh, Hengaw agency added.
Last Wednesday, Amnesty International revealed that the Iranian authorities had failed to provide accountability for the deaths of over 70 inmates, many of whom were said to have suffered torture and ill-treatment, among them was also a Kurdish prisoner who died recently.
"The findings, which are based on Amnesty International’s long-term research and a comprehensive review of reporting by credible human rights groups and media outlets, reveal that since January 2010, at least 72 deaths occurred at 42 prisons and detention centres in 16 provinces across the country. The latest documented case concerns Yaser Mangouri, aged 31, whose death was reported to his family by ministry of intelligence officials in Urumieh, West Azerbaijan province on 8 September 2021," Amnesty International said in a report.