- United Nations and Government and International Organizations
Latest News: August 31, 2010
Kurdish political prisoner Rahim Rashi has ended his hunger strike on the 43rd day following his families insistence. According to his son, he is unable to walk on his own and his overall physical condition is poor.
August 30, 2010
Rahim Rashi is on his 42nd day of hunger strike in prison.
August 28, 2010
URGENT ACTION | Rahim Rashi on Day 40 of Hunger Strike, Banned from Visits
Soran Rashi, the son of imprisoned Kurdish activist Rahim Rashi, has expressed grave concern over his father's rapidly deteriorating health. In his most recent trial, Rahim Rashi declared that he plans to continue his hunger strike until he is released from prison, despite the court's promise that he would be released upon the halt of media attention and the end of his hunger strike. Consequently, Rahim Rashi is now banned from visitation and he was transferred to the quarantine section of the prison. Prison authorities have not stated further information on the fate of Rahim Rashi.
Read more: http://persian2english.com/?p=13759
ROOZ ONLINE interviews Rahim Rashi's son:
August 17, 2010
Rooz Online: Mr. Rashi, what is the latest news on your father’s condition? Is he still on hunger strike?
Soran Rashi (SR): On Sunday, our family visited my father. He said that he is continuing his hunger strike. It has now been 26 days.
Rooz: Where did the visit take place? How was your father’s physical state?
SR: A few days prior to our visit, my father was transferred from the IRGC Orumiyeh prison to the Mahabad General prison. The transfer took place following the deterioration of my father’s health. Our family visited my father after the transfer. He has lost a lot of weight and is in critical condition. He was taken to the prison clinic several times and he was connected to serums. My father cannot stand on his feet and he walks with the help of others.
Rooz: Mr. Rashi, what did your father say about his charges against him and the treatment he received from security officials?
SR: They have only orally stated the charges against my father which are ”acting againt national security” and “enmity against god”. My dad said that he was tortured and abused in the Orumiyeh detention centre.
Rooz: Your father was tortured while on hunger strike?
SR: Yes! My father went on hunger strike a day after he was arrested and he continues to be on strike to this day. My father was subjected to torture in the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence detention centre in Orumiyeh. My father says that one of the reasons he continues his hunger strike is because of the tortures and abuses inflicted on him. We, however, do not know the details of the acts of torture.
Rooz: Has a trial date been set? Is it possible that he will be freed before the trial?
SR: My father did not accept any of the charges against him. Three others were arrested from our village at the same time as my father. These three people are currently detained in the security and intelligence detention centre in Orumiyeh. My father stated that there is a high chance that he his trial will not take place until the other three are transferred to the Mahabad detention centre as well.
Rooz: Do they all face the same charges?
SR: My father and the three others were arrested on the same night and they were transferred to the Mahabad detention centre. That is why we think that my dad will probably be tried when the other three are also transferred to Mahabad. The reason my father was transferred is because he launched a hunger strike. Of course, we do not see any connection between my father’s condition and them.
Rooz: Given the dire state Mr. Rashi is in, has your family asked him to end his strike?
SR: Prison officials as well as my mother and brother have asked him to end his strike. Initially, my father went on strike to protest his detention, however, after he was mistreated in the detention centre, he is more determined to continue with his strike.
Rooz: Even though his physical condition has deteriorated gravely?
SR: Yes. My father was also arrested in 1997 when he was taken to Saqez prison. That time, rarely anyone believed that he would be able to last a 36-day hunger strike. Eventually my father was brought home on a stretcher. The doctor [on the case] said that if my father had continued his hunger strike, he would have only survived a few more days. The news did not receive media coverage back then because unlike today, the Internet and other forms of media were not pervasive. Despite all this, my father was exonerated and freed. This time as well, my father insists to continue his hunger strike until he is released.
We, the undersigned, demand the immediate and unconditional release of imprisoned Kurdish activist Rahim Rashi.
We are concerned over the health of 57 year old Rahim Rash who has insisted on remaining on hunger strike until his release. On August 17th it was reported that Rahim Rashi was tortured while on hunger strike.
His charges are "acting against national security" and Moharebeh (waging war against God).
Rahim Rashi is a Kurdish activist and not a criminal. Detaining him and banning him from visits with his family in an attempt to pressure him to halt his hunger strike and communication with the media is unjust and illegal.
His family states that Rahim Rashi was arrested by security forces on several occasions, and every time, he has launched hunger strikes that have lasted six, fifteen, or twenty days. In the past cases of imprisonment Rahim Rashi was always acquitted because he was able to prove his charges unfounded.
We ask the UN High Commissioner and all other international bodies to immediately speak out against the unfounded detention of Rahim Rashi and the torture and abuse he has endured. Freedom of speech is a right and not a crime.
The Release Kurdish Activist Rahim Rashi! petition to United Nations and Government and International Organizations was written by Maryam and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.