Press Release

Views expressed here are the views of the national delegation and do not always reflect the views of the Group as a whole

Members of the European Parliament demand the immediate release of human rights activists Arash Sadeghi and Ali Shariati

, 12.01.2017 - 14:03

Following the current reports on the critical condition of Arash Sadeghi and Ali Shariati, two Iranian human rights defenders on hunger strike, Members of the European Parliament demand their immediate and unconditional release. They must be allowed to a hospital to have an extensive treatment.

Arash Sadeghi, who went on hunger strike on 24 October 2016 to protest against the continued imprisonment of his wife Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, is in a critical condition. His health condition is extremely serious and he needs immediate hospitalisation. The medical doctors of the prison have stated that if he is not transferred to hospital immediately he may not stay alive much longer. Arash Sadeghi was condemned for his work in the defence of human rights – rights that Iran has undertaken to respect and protect under international law.

Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was condemned for speaking out peacefully as a writer against the inhumane practice of stoning.

“Iran must guarantee fair trials based on the rule of law and must not restrict the freedom of opinion. As long as this is not the case, those affected must be released from imprisonment.”

Background information:

Ali Shariati lost his consciousness on the 73 day of his hunger strike. He has been on hunger strike since 31 October to demand his freedom. He is serving a five-year prison sentence imposed on him for his peaceful activism after an unfair trial, including his participation in a peaceful protest to condemn acid attacks against women.

Arash Sadeghi and his wife Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee were first arrested in 2014 for their work to promote human rights in Iran. Iraee was threatened with execution after being placed in custody. Following a summary trial, Arash Sadeghi was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for defending human rights. Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was handed a six-year sentence of imprisonment for “insulting Islamic sanctities” after writing an unpublished short story in which she criticised the inhumane practice of stoning. Arash Sadeghi is being held at Evin Prison in Tehran. He was on hunger strike for 72 days to protest the imprisonment of his wife Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee. After a global outcry and pressure, the authorities eventually released her on a four days prison leave on 3 January 2017. However it was promised to Mr Sadeghi she will be free until her court appeal, which made him decide to stop his hunger strike. But the authorities broke their promise and ordered Mrs Iraee after four days to return to prison, which she didn't follow yet.

Currently Mr Sadeghi's health condition is extremely bad. He might either fall into a coma or die as well caused by the deprivations during his hunger strike. He needs immediate medical treatment hospitalisation, yet he seems to be determined to restart his hunger strike if Mrs Iraee will be brought back to prison contrary to the official promises.

Note to Editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States

MEP Contacts

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