Kurdish prisoners of conscience Arash Gholizadeh and Ardavan Tahourian, who have separately gone on hunger strike in Orumiyeh Central Prison, in West Azerbaijan Province, are demanding access to medical treatment and the right to temporary leave.

Gholizadeh, a Kurdish religious prisoner from Orumiyeh, who is in the third year of a 10-year sentence, began his hunger strike on 15 March, in protest at being denied furlough and is in a critical condition, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has learned.

After beginning his hunger strike, Gholizadeh was moved to solitary confinement and is being denied communication with his family.

Additionally, Tahourian, a 60-year-old Kurdish political prisoner with heart disease and diabetes, has been on a hunger strike since 15 April in protest at being denied access to medical services and leave for treatment.

He has been threatened by prison officials that he will be transferred to solitary confinement on 17 April if he continues his hunger strike.

Tahourian, from Salmas in West Azerbaijan Province, was arrested about 15 months ago and was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of “collaborating with opposition groups”.

He was transferred from Salmas Prison to Orumiyeh Central Prison about seven months ago.