From an e-mail:
Last night, Akbar Mohammadi, a 36 year-old pro-democracy activist who
was on a hunger strike to protest his own detention and call for the
release of all political prisoners, died in the Evin Prison in Tehran.
Mohammadi, who had spent several years in prison, had been arrested
along with thousands of other students (including his brother Mohammad)
following the 1999 students protest triggered by the vigilantes attack
on a peaceful campus rally in support of freedom of the press. The
attack led to the murder of at least one student, a crime which was left
unpunished. Mohammadi and several others had been initially sentenced
to death but their sentences were reduced to 15 years imprisonment as a
result of the international pressure on the Iranian government.
Mohammadi, who like many other detainees had testified about being
subjected to harsh physical and psychological torture, was released for
medical reasons. The doctors had determined that his physical condition
did not allow him to endure prison conditions. However, the Iranian
authorities arrested him again 2 months ago.
Akbar’s death should be a serious warning to the international
community, which is consumed by Iran’s nuclear standoff against the West
and its role in the recent conflict in Lebanon. Democracies are the
natural allies of pro-democracy activists around the world. They should
not ignore the alarming surge in assassinations and the massive
crackdown that Iran has launched against pro-democracy activists who
call for the respect of the fundamental freedoms, and an end to
discriminations based on religion, gender, and political beliefs.
Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation
For the Promotion of
Human Rights and Democracy in Iran