- Posted March 4, 2013 by
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URGENT ACTION! Iranian Political Prisoner Dr Khazali On Hunger Strike, Near DEATH--How YOU Can Help
URGENT UPDATE APRIL 1, 2013: DR. KHAZALI HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE EVIN PRISON CLINIC WITH DANGEROUSLY LOW BLOOD PRESSURE (5) AND HEART RATE (37)!!
TODAY, APRIL 28, 2013 IS DAY 120 OF DR. KHAZALI'S HUNGER STRIKE! PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR UPDATES ON HIS CONDITION, AND FOR 4 URGENT ACTIONS WHICH YOU CAN TAKE TO HELP HIM!
On Friday, April 19 Radio Zamaneh reported:
The wife of political prisoner Mehdi Khazali says her husband is being held in a “tight cell without any basic services” and his health is seriously at risk.
The Kaleme website reports that a number of political activists visited the family of jailed activist Mehdi Khazali, and they were told that his calls to the family have been getting shorter and the family is very concerned about his health in solitary confinement.
The report indicates that Khazali’s spouse has written to senior members of the clergy to urge them to break their silence in view of the “cruelty [her] husband is being subjected to.” She warned that Mehdi Khazali’s current circumstances at Evin Prison are threatening his life.
Mehdi Khazali, the disowned son of conservative clergyman Ayatollah Khazali, has been critical of the government crackdown on election protests over the past four years, and his critical blogs and his association with reformist figures have resulted in his persecution by the authorities.
ON MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013, DAY 100 OF DR KHAZALI'S HUNGER STRIKE, A NUMBER OF MEMBERS OF THE WRITERS ASSOCIATION AS WELL AS FRIENDS OF DR KHAZALI HAVE LAUNCHED A HUNGER STRIKE IN SOLIDARITY WITH HIM.
Thanks to Persian Banoo for the below report (see link)
April 8, 2013--In a show of support, a number of the Writers Association members and friends of Dr. Mehdi Khazali launched a hunger strike on Monday April 8, 2013, coinciding with the 100th day of Dr. Khazali’s hunger strike.
Following is translation of a statement released by them announcing the launch of their hunger strike:
In the name of the God of the martyrs and the truth tellers,
A political venue can only be acceptable if it has not surpassed the realm of humanity and still upholds the true meaning of ethics and the human rights.
At this time, it has been 100 days and nights since the start of the struggle of our friend and compatriot, Dr. Mehdi Khazali, who, based on his beliefs, began his hunger strike.
ON APRIL 3, 3013 DR. KHAZALI'S SON REPORTED:
Yesterday evening my dad called, but before he had a chance to say anything, the phone was disconnected. Five minutes later he called again. His voice seemed weaker and strained. He said he had been taken to the medical clinic at Evin with blood pressure at 5 and heart rate at 37. An IV was administered.
The amount of hardship and torment that he suffers could be heard in his voice. I wish I could describe the tone of his voice!
Under these conditions even a healthy person should be admitted to CCU, much less my dad who had suffers from a heart condition. But apparently they wish something different for my dad.
My father spoke with that same sense of duty that he felt while fighting in the trenches of the war zone.
He always spoke of a sense of duty (we must perform our duty). Those unassuming men that, for the 96 months of the Holy Defense, gave of their lives and wealth, so injustice does not become prevalent over the people.
I emphasize that all the officials are aware of my father’s case and condition. Yes, all of them, without any exception
They have once again changed my father’s cellmate. They have now placed a Somali pirate in his cell. The responsibility for my father’s life and well being lies with all the officials who are aware of his condition and deliberately are not doing anything.
My apologies to everyone for keeping them worried. I’m sorry for the delay in reporting his condition. Much gratitude and thanks for all your support and kindness.
In my father’s previous contact, he spoke of inviting Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjai to become a candidate for the next presidential election. He said Mr. Hashemi’s presence is the way to save the country from the dangers.
I’d like to make a confession. When I see the pain in my sisters’ and my little brother Ali’s eyes, and see the tears of my mother, I become very weary and skeptical and many other things become meaningless for me!
At that point, I ask God to give me the strength to comprehend how one can remain loyal to their ideology, even under such harsh circumstances.
May God grant grace
Mohamad Saleh Khazali
(Thanks to Persian Banoo for the translation, see link below)
HIS SON EARLIER HAD ISSUED A DESPERATE APPEAL, STATING IN PART:
"At any moment, we may receive the horrible news. I am a son, my father’s absence is hard enough to bear, let alone losing him and being a witness to his martyrdom. The Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Khamenei) is also aware of my father’s case and situation. I am saying this so no one can later claim that they didn’t know. I don’t know how else to say; At any moment my father’s heart may stop beating, free my dad." (SEE BELOW FOR THE FULL STATEMENT)
"Those who agree or disagree with me,religious or secular, left or right, nobody should be imprisoned for their thoughts."
"They want me to be Silent, I Shout. They want me to be Quiet, I Roar!"
"Hunger strike is the last defense against injustice "
"LAW DOES NOT ENTER THE GATES OF EVIN (PRISON)."
~ Quotes from Dr. Mehdi Khazali, Iranian blogger and prisoner of conscience who, as of March 25, 2013 was on his 86th day of prison hunger strike and in failing health.
UPDATE: MARCH 24, 2013-- DAY 85 OF DR. KHAZALI'S HUNGER STRIKE:
STATEMENT ISSUED BY MEHDI KHAZALI'S SON:
In the name of God the Avenger,
Today is 85 days since my father launched a hunger strike, and, at any moment, we may receive the horrible news.
I am saying this so no one can later claim that they didn’t know. All the officials know, and are even better informed about my father’s situation than I am. None of the officials, from the highest to the lowest rank, can ever claim they were not aware of my father’s situation.
The Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Khamenei) is also aware of my father’s case and situation. I myself have personally informed the Leader, the Special Investigator at the Leader’s office, the Expediency Council, the Imam’s office, the Judiciary and……of the details of my father’s case and his situation.
As my father had said before, and I, after pursuing my father’s case, have concluded that my father’s release is only possible by the direct order from the Supreme Leader. With the judge’s order for release, my father’s detention is illegal.
I am a son, my father’s absence is hard enough to bear, let alone losing him and being a witness to his martyrdom.
I don’t know how to say this? Should I scream? Should I self immolate? With what language will they be satisfied? Should I cry? Should I groan? Should I humbly request? Should I beg?
I don’t know how else to say; At any moment my father’s heart may stop beating, free my dad.
Mohamad Saleh Khazali
4 AM, Sunday March 24
SOURCE: PERSIAN BANOO
UPDATE: MARCH 15, 2013-- DAY 75 OF DR. KHAZALI'S HUNGER STRIKE:
Dr. Mehdi Khazali’s son Mohamad Saleh posted this entry on his Facebook about his failed attempt to see his father on Thursday, day 75 of Dr. Khazali’s hunger strike:
“This morning I went to Evin to visit my father. A rude old man who is the Deputy Warden at Ward 209, shamelessly said, “He is banned from visits, banned from phone calls and is in solitary confinement”.
SOURCE: Persian Banoo:
DR. KHAZALI, A MAN OF GREAT INTEGRITY, BRAVERY AND PERSONAL DECENCY, URGENTLY NEEDS OUR HELP! PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON HIS CASE, FOLLOWED BY AN URGENT ACTION DETAILING HOW YOU CAN HELP!
Mehdi Khazali, born in 1965, a blogger, an ophthalmologist, Director of Hayan publishing and founder of Abasaleh Cultural Institute and Publishing. A prominent critic of Ahmadinejad, he has been imprisoned several times. Mehdi Khazali is the son of the hard-line cleric member of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Khazali. After the public criticism of Ahmadinejad by his son, Ayatollah Khazali publicly denounced and distanced himself from his son’s positions.
Mehdi Khazali was summoned by the Special Cleric Court and arrested the first time during the events of the post-2009 disputed presidential elections.
After his case was sent to the Revolutionary Court, he was then incarcerated in Evin prison. Twenty four days later, on July 22, 2009 he was released on 20 Million Toman bail.
On October 13, 2010, Mehdi Khazali was once again arrested by Intelligence Ministry’s agents after being summoned to the Branch 4 of the Public Prosecutor’s office at the Revolutionary Court. On that same day he had been threatened by the security police that he must present himself at Evin.
Khazali was once again incarcerated in Evin prison. His charges in this case were, “Insulting Ayatollah Janati, Insulting the president and propaganda against the regime”.
After nineteen days of incarceration, Khazali was allowed his first visit with his family on November 1, 2010.
At the time he had been on a hunger strike for one week protesting his arrest. Twelve days later, he was released on 200 Million Tomans bail.
After Mehdi Khazali continued with his critical writings on his blog, he was once again summoned and arrested on July 18, 2011. He launched a hunger strike from day one of this arrest. He was transferred to Ward 350 in Evin prison on August 8, 2011.
He remained on a hunger strike during his 27 days of incarceration before he was released on bail.
Mehdi Khazali was violently arrested for the fourth time on January 9, 2012 and was taken to Evin prison. During this very violent arrest he suffered broken teeth and a broken arm.
He once again launched a hunger strike from the start of his incarceration. On February 1, 2012, while his arm was broken and he had lost a lot of weight, Khazali was transferred to Ward 350 in Evin prison.
Dr. Khazali suffered various health problems and was taken to Evin clinic on the 35th day of his hunger strike due to deteriorating health condition.
While Khazali still in prison, his wife and daughter were arrested on February 14, 2012 but were released after several hours of detention on the same day.
In the afternoon of February 26, 2012, while Khazali was very weak from his prolonged hunger strike and using a cane to assist him in walking, several security agents took him from Ward 350 to Ward 209 in Evin prison.
On March 6, 2012, after 57 days on hunger strike, Khazali started a dry hunger strike (refusing both food & liquids), which lasted for three days before he went back on his food hunger strike. He lost about 66 lbs and become so weak that could barely walk without using a cane.
Dr. Khazali was released from prison early morning hours of March 19, 2012 after 70 days of hunger strike and having lost about 66 lbs, frail and unable to walk without using a case.
Charges And Sentence:
On February 5, 2012, Khazali was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary court to 14 years in prison, 10 years exile and 90 lashes. He was charged with “Propaganda against the regime, assembly and collusion with intent to act against the national security, and writing of critical letters to the Supreme Leader”. This sentence was issued for his previous cases.
Dr. Mehdi Khazali was among dozens of people arrested Tuesday night October 30, 2012 in a raid of the Writers Society meeting. Upon arrest he announced he will launch a dry hunger strike.
Dr. Khazali broke his hunger strike after 12 days with the interrogators promising to release the other people who were arrested with him at the Writers Society meeting.
After 40 days of no news and no contact with family, on December 8, 2012 Dr. Khazali was allowed to phone his family.
His son posted this entry on his Facebook page about the short conversation they had with his father, “In the short conversation we had, my father was more worried abut his family. He said he is in a cell that is 2 meters long by 1 meter wide, which he called a “Toilet”. There is a commode in the middle of the room and the floor is damp. He puts an extra blanket on the floor so the wet floor doesn’t bother him as much, the room is filled with sewage stench.”
“He told us he will start a hunger strike as of today (December 8) and will remain on it until he is released.”
Current Legal Status:
Despite bail having been set for the release of Dr. Khazali on December 30, 2012, his family was not notified of the judge’s order until February 16, 2013.
Dr. Khazali’s family provided the court ordered bail, however, Intelligence Ministry prevented his release & pressed new charges.
Dr. Khazali is being kept in prison illegally. He has vowed to remain on hunger strike until he is released from his illegal imprisonment.
Following is a translation of a post on Dr. Mehdi Khazali’s son, Mohamad Saleh Khazali’s Facebook page, posted March 2, 2013.
4. Please join the Facebook page to support Dr. Khazali: