Health concerns for Vahid Hakkani as hunger strike goes on

Health concerns for Vahid Hakkani as hunger strike goes on

After more than 36 days, imprisoned Christian convert Vahid Hakkani’s hunger strike continues. 

Vahid is protesting against the verdicts issued by the judicial authorities against him and three fellow converts, Mojtaba Hosseini, Homayoun Shokouhi and Mohammad-Reza Partoei. 

Article18’s Advocacy Director, Mansour Borji, expressed deep concern about his health, saying: “Before this, Vahid was transferred to the Faqihi Hospital in Shiraz due to a gastrointestinal problem and the deterioration of his physical condition. The continuation of this hunger strike may pose a serious threat to his health, and we are worried about this.”

Borji added that the sentences against the men – of three years and eight months each in prison – “have no legal right”.

The four men were first arrested at a “house church” meeting in Shiraz on 8 February 2012.

Then on 10 June, 2013, Judge Rashidi, head of the Third Branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Shiraz, found them guilty of “promoting Christianity”, “association with Christian organisations abroad”, “propaganda against the state”, and “disrupting national security”, under Articles 498, 499, and 500 of the Islamic Penal Code.

Officials at the Adel Abad Prison in Shiraz, in response to Vahid’s hunger strike, initially transferred him to solitary confinement, and after his return to his cell prevented him from making telephone calls or receiving visitors.

Various reports have been published about the harsh conditions at Adel Abad Prison, including the denial of medical care for prisoners of conscience like Vahid.