Kurdish prisoner of conscience Abdolaziz Gol-Mohammadi is in critical condition on the 27th day of his hunger strike in Orumiyeh Central Prison.
Despite recent meetings with the authorities, including Morad Fathi, the Director General of Prisons in West Azerbaijan Province, and Nasser Atabati, the provincial head of the judiciary, no concrete action has been taken in response to Gol-Mohammadi’s request for leave.
Gol-Mohammadi’s hunger strike has led to a significant drop in his blood pressure, significant weight loss and severe physical weakness, raising concerns among prison medical staff who have deemed the continuation of the strike dangerous given his history of stomach bleeding.
To date, however, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Intelligence Organisation, a key decision-maker in such matters, has yet to respond to the head of the judiciary’s approval of the prisoner’s request for leave.
In recent years, the IRGC’s Intelligence Organisation and the Ministry of Intelligence have consistently rejected requests for conditional release and furloughs for political prisoners, despite the approval of the Prison Classification Council and supervising judges.
This attitude has led to the deterioration of the condition of several political prisoners in Orumiyeh Prison, who are suffering from various illnesses and are in critical situations due to the objections of the two intelligence agencies to their transfer to medical facilities outside the prison or to the granting of medical leave.
Gol-Mohammadi began his hunger strike on 14 October in protest at the rejection of his request for leave by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Intelligence Organisation.
Initially, the prisoner was on a dry hunger strike for the first five days. After being transferred to the infirmary and receiving assurances from the prison authorities that his demands would be considered, he ended the dry hunger strike.
Instead, he declared his intention to continue with a traditional hunger strike until his request for temporary leave is granted.
On 6 October 2019, while Gol-Mohammadi, a Kurdish civilian from Orumiyeh, who had been detained in Orumiyeh Central Prison for several months on non-political charges, was transferred to the IRGC’s Intelligence Organisation’s Al-Mahdi Garrison detention facility.
Gol-Mohammadi and four other Kurdish civilians, Omid Saeidi, Kamran Ghassemi, Nayeb (Masoud) Hajizadeh, and Keyvan Rashozadeh, who were arrested on 8 October 2019, were interrogated for two months on charges of “membership of a Kurdish opposition party”.
There was no prior connection between Gol-Mohammadi and the other four civilians in the case.
After a year of legal limbo, in December 2020, Branch Two of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh sentenced each of the five civilians to 10 years and one day in prison.
The court accused them of “acting against national security” through their alleged “membership” of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan.
After Gol-Mohammadi appealed the verdict, the case was referred to the Supreme Court and, after some time, the verdict was upheld by Branch 41 of the Supreme Court.
On 26 January 2021, Gol-Mohammadi was released on bail of 10 billion rials – nearly 20,000 USD – but was re-arrested seven months later, in August 2021, to serve the sentence.