Kurdish political prisoner Kamran Ghassemi has entered the eighth day of his hunger strike in solitary confinement in Orumiyeh Central Prison, West Azerbaijan Province, in protest at the refusal of prison officials and the Ministry of Intelligence to grant him leave and conditional release.

Ghassemi was transferred to solitary confinement after announcing his hunger strike on 5 March and has since been denied the right to contact and visit his family.

Despite having served more than half of his seven and a half year sentence, he remains denied the right to furlough and conditional release due to opposition from prison officials and the Ministry of Intelligence in Orumiyeh.

According to the families of political prisoners, prison officials and the special office of the Ministry of Intelligence in Orumiyeh Central Prison have reportedly made their agreement to any request for medical leave, access to specialised medical services and conditional release dependent on the cooperation of prisoners and families with the security services.

On 26 February, Kurdish political prisoner Shahin Gallehdar committed suicide in the high security ward for political and religious prisoners in Orumiyeh Central Prison after the security services refused his request for medical leave and conditional release.

Two days later, Kurdish prisoner Hassan Omarpour set himself on fire and suffered severe burns on his foot after prison guards raided the ward. Ashkan Osmannezhad, a co-defendant, also suffered burns while trying to extinguish the fire.


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.