A group of Kurdish-Canadian activists in Vancouver BC have started protesting in front of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) main office to attract media attention to the plight of 29 Kurdish political prisoners on hunger strike for more than a month in Orumiyeh’s Central Prison.
The campaign to stage a hunger strike coincided with the call for a general strike in Kurdistan of Iran where the Kurdish political prisoners are held and are on hunger strike.
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The activists Facebook Page
The Facebook page of “Today, Wurme is the Heart of Kurdistan” in support of political prisoners on hunger strike
The strikers’ full press release follows:
To: All human rights organizations and associations around the world,
The free and accountable media and to all nations who stand for the higher principles of humanity.
Today marks the 32nd day of a hunger strike by 29 Kurdish political prisoners in the central prison of the Kurdish city of Oromieyeh, which mainly houses political prisoners. Fellow prisoners of conscience in other prisons across the Kurdish regions of Iran have followed suit in solidarity with the strikers in Oromieyeh prison and gone on hunger strike.
According to HRANA, a human rights activist web site, the prisoners of Ward 12 at Orumiyeh, in northwest Iran, “started their hunger strike protesting felons and criminals in their ward,” “The political prisoners on hunger strike have also demanded that another 29 prisoners who have been dispersed in other wards in the same prison be transferred to Ward 12.”
Some 50 inmates with drug addiction problems or violent pasts have been mixed in with the political prisoners, according to Kurdish-language news agencies. This unexpected measure appears to be the result of a recent order by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, and there are strong indications that there is a plan by various secuirity and intelligence apparatus to shut down sections of various prisons dedicated to prisoners of conscience and deny the existence of prisoners of conscience in Iran. This is why most recently the president of the Islamic republic of Iran, shamelessly denied the existence of prisoners of conscience in Iran to the world media.
The regime has invested great efforts in ensuring that this plan succeeds despite resistance. Civil society organizations and the family’s of prisoners of conscience in the Kurdish regions have expressed their deepest concerns and have called upon all human rights organizations and world leaders to pressure the regime and denounce its plans to further persecute the hunger strikers and other prisoners of conscience who have been unjustly imprisoned and who’s life’s hang in the balance as their hunger strike continues.
What is deeply concerning and unacceptable in this regard is the silence of the international community, the free press and world and regional leaders. The peoples of the world must not accept the argument of the cultural relativist that human rights violations are merely domestic or relative to one’s culture. In such a interconnected world threats and violations of human rights in one political geography is a threat to human rights in all other polities around the world. To remain silent while Iran continues its persecution and violations of Kurdish human rights is to remain silent against the backward and unjust ideologies of the Islamic Regime, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and ISIS and ignore the threat that such groups and ideologies pose to the progress of human rights regionally and globally.
In response to the demands of the 27 Kurdish hunger strikers, the Islamic Regime of Iran has threatened the hunger strikers with further persecution and execution if they continue. Such threats demonstrate the regime’s disregard for human life and the threat that it poses to peace and freedom regionally and internationally. It is therefore, the responsibility of all societies and governments around the world who value human life and human rights to condemn and prevent the Islamic regime of Iran from continuing its horrendous violations.
We are a group of Kurdish human rights activists in Canada and we are going on hunger strike in Solidarity with the demands of the Kurdish political prisoners currently on hunger strike of the central prison of Oromieyeh and other Kurdish cities front of the entrance of CBC TV in downtown Vancouver. We demand:
- That world leaders, governments, human rights organizations and associations to pressure the Islamic Regime of Iran to cease executions, and free political prisoners who have been imprisoned without due process.
- That an investigator be dispatched by the United Nations Human Rights Council or the office of the UN Commissioner of Human Rights to visit the Kurdish political prisoners hunger striking in the central prison of Oromieyeh, Kurdistan to assess their condition.
- That the separation of the categories of prisoners be granted and the 27 Kurdish political prisoners be returned to the ward reserved for political prisoners, given medical aid and the right to meet their lawyers without threats.
Your help and solidarity with our cause is highly appreciated!
The hunger strikers
Behzad Najafi Kermanshahi,