Kamran Ghassemi, a Kurdish political prisoner who has served more than half of his seven and a half year sentence in Orumiyeh Central Prison in West Azerbaijan Province, began a hunger strike today in protest at the refusal of the prison authorities and the Ministry of Intelligence to grant his requests for furlough and conditional release.

Following the announcement of the hunger strike, he was transferred to solitary confinement by order of the prison authorities.

Ghassemi was arrested by security forces on 8 October 2019 along with four other civilians, Nayeb Hajizadeh, Omid Saeidi, Keyvan Rashozadeh and Abdolaziz Mohammadpour, and taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility in Orumiyeh.

After a month of interrogation, they were transferred to the youth section of Orumiyeh Central Prison.

In December 2020, after a year of uncertainty, Branch Two of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh sentenced each of them to ten years and one day in prison on charges of “acting against national security” through “membership of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan”.

Ghassemi’s initial sentence was later reduced to seven years and six months.

In December 2020, Ghassemi, Saeidi and Rashozadeh went on a week-long hunger strike in the youth section of Orumiyeh Central Prison in protest against the uncertainty surrounding their case, pressure from the Ministry of Intelligence’s Special Office and the authorities’ failure to adhere to the principle of separation of crimes.

On 26 June 2021, prison authorities insulted and disrespected Ghassemi’s family during a family meeting. This incident led to objections from the political prisoner, resulting in prison guards beating him in the presence of his family.