Vahid Bagheri, one of the protesters detained after deadly demonstrations in November 2019, is in critical condition as his hunger strike entered its 38th day.

Bagheri was sentenced by the Tehran Revolutionary Court to six years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the government and collusion,” of which five years are enforceable.

He has been on a hunger strike since May 6 to protest his imprisonment and the authorities’ refusal to grant him parole, which he was eligible for after serving the first 20 months of his sentence.

“Today is the 38th day Vahid is on a hunger strike and his physical condition is very acute. We asked him several times not to harm his health and to break the strike. But Vahid says that, ‘Either I’ll be released, or my dead body will come out of here,'” Rasoul Bagheri, Vahid’s brother, told RFE/RL’s Radio Farda on June 17.

The November 2019 nationwide anti-government protests were prompted by the resumption of gasoline quotas in Iran and a 200 percent increase in gasoline prices.

News agencies and human rights organizations abroad, based on their research and sources, have put the death toll from the protests at several hundred to 1,500, while officials in Iran have refused to give the exact number of people killed.

Human rights groups have reported that at least 8,600 people were detained during the protests, which spread across 22 Iranian provinces.

Rasoul Bagheri said that he and his family went to parliament last week to protest his brother’s situation, but that their calls for action fell on deaf ears before they were confronted by security forces.

“We went in front of the parliament to make our voices heard by the deputies and officials so that the responsible deputies would come and ask us about our pain. No one came. Immediately, security forces mistreated our family and arrested me, telling me that we no longer have the right to go to the parliament” he said.

Source » rferl