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Vahid Hakkani resumes hunger strike

Vahid Hakkani resumes hunger strike

Christian prisoner Vahid Hakkani has resumed his hunger strike in Shiraz’s Adel Abad Prison.

He began his hunger strike on 20 March, after judicial authorities denied his request for early release, and to protest against poor conditions in prison.

That hunger strike last for more than seven weeks, until 23 May, despite Vahid suffering acute physical problems as a result. 

But he ended his hunger strike after one of his fellow prisoners of conscience, Mohammed Reza Partoei, was granted conditional release.

Vahid was transferred to the prison’s health centre in the last days of his first hunger strike, due to the deterioration of his physical condition. He was suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding, for which he had already once been hospitalised during his time in prison.

However, during his hunger strike Vahid was subjected to psychological harassment from prison guards, who denied him his right to make phone calls or to receive visits from his family members, and confiscated several of his personal belongings.

According to Mohabat News, Vahid was also separated from the three fellow Christians he was arrested and charged alongside: Mohammed Reza, Mojtaba Hosseini and Homayoun Shokouhi, who were each transferred to different wards. 

The four men were arrested on 8 February 2012 at a “house church” in Shiraz. Several others were initially detained but then released. However, on 10 June 2013, Vahid, Mohammed Reza, Homayoun and Mojtaba were each sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for “promoting Christianity”, “association with Christian organisations abroad”, “propaganda against the state”, and “disrupting national security”.