Hunger-striking journalist released, a second remains in prison
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||2 November 2009|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, Hunger-striking journalist released, a second remains in prison, 2 November 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4af7e0341e.html [accessed 20 September 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Iranian journalist Henghameh Shahidi was today released from prison on payment of bail of nine million tomans (about 8,000 euros) on the order of the 26th chamber of Tehran's revolutionary court. She had been moved to the hospital wing of Evin prison on 31 October as a result of a week-long hunger strike.
Journalist Fariba Pejoh is still being held in section 209 of the same prison. Her family, who visited her yesterday, said that she had ended her hunger strike, begun on 26 October, because of very serious health problems. One worried family member told Reporters Without Borders, "She is very weak and can no longer bear her prison conditions".
01.11.2009 - Concern for two imprisoned journalists on hunger strike
Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the health of journalists Henghameh Shahidi and Fariba Pajooh who have been on hunger strike for one week.
Both women are seriously ill and "will not be able to hold up much longer", their lawyer and families have said. Shahidi was yesterday moved to the hospital wing of Evin prison.
"We are holding the chief executive of the judiciary, Hojatoelslam Sadegh Larijani, personally responsible for the state of health of these two journalists, which is the result of their appalling prison conditions", the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
"They are being held in solitary confinement and their most basic rights, including the right of visits from their families and their lawyer are not being respected. The injustice leaves these women with no other alternative but to put their lives at risk", it added.
Shahidi, journalist and editor of the blog Paineveste, was arrested on 29 June and has spent 50 days in solitary confinement in section 209 of Evin prison. A bail application made by her lawyer has been turned down, on the order of the Tehran prosecutor, and she remains in jail. She told her family on 24 October that she had begun a hunger strike and was refusing to take her medication. She has heart problems and is severely depressed.
Pajooh, a journalist for reformist publications, including Etemad-e Melli, the INLA news agency and several foreign media, was arrested on 22 August 2009, and then taken to Evin prison. She was also editor of the blog http://www.after-rain.persianblog.ir/. She also began a hunger strike, on 26 October. She is protesting against her continued imprisonment, which after two months in temporary custody, was extended for a third time. Her lawyer, Nemat Ahmadi, has already informed Reporters Without Borders that he has not been able to see his client. The journalist has a serious ulcer and her family is extremely anxious about her health.