”Foad Yousefi, a 35-year-old Kurdish prisoner, has been on a hunger strike since Monday December 26, 2016 in protest to the unwillingness of prison authorities to grant him sick leave. Today on the 20th day of his hunger strike, his health is deteriorating rapidly. Throughout this period, not a single prison authority has checked in on him. He has only been allowed intermittent visits to the prison’s clinic for his blood pressure to be checked,” a reliable source told the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).

”This Kurdish Sunni minority prisoner was arrested in 2011 in the city of Sanandaj and has spent about 27 months in the solitary confinement units of various detention centers run by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. In 2012, he was transferred to Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison, charged with “membership in an extremist organization” and sentenced to an eight-year prison term. However, due to long periods in solitary confinement, Mr. Yousefi has contracted various mental and psychological problems. In fact, his condition was so severe that there were times when Mr. Yousefi attempted to inflict self-harm. As a result, he had to be transferred to the Amin Abad psychiatric hospital. However, he was transferred back to the prison after two days, even though the doctor who examined him at the hospital stated that Mr Yousefi would not be able to endure further imprisonment,” the KHRN source said.

Iranian authorities have refused to grant Mr.Yousefi prison leave,despite that he has 21 months left until the end of his prison sentence and he is eligible to receive furlough.