Kurdish political prisoner Ghader Mohammadzadeh has ended his 39-day-long hunger strike in Yazd Prison on 8 September after authorities promised to follow up on his demands.

Mohammadzadeh went on a hunger strike on 31 July to protest against the Mahabad Public Prosecutor’s refusal to grant him temporary leave.

A member of Ghader Mohammadzadeh’s family spoke to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).

He said: “In the last two days, following the deterioration of Ghader Mohammadzadeh’s condition as a result of the prolonged hunger strike, the director of Yazd Prison, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Intelligence and Public Prosecutor’s Office in Yazd, met separately with Ghader in prison and asked him to end his hunger strike. They have promised not only to follow up on his temporary leave but also to consider release on parole for the political prisoner, who is serving the 16th year of his 20-year sentence.”

According to the source, although Qader Mohammadzadeh was initially reluctant to end his hunger strike, he eventually ended his hunger strike by accepting the favourable promise from the authorities to pursue his case.

The political prisoner also said he would go on a hunger strike again if authorities did not agree to his temporary leave and release on parole.

Last month, Ghader Mohammadzadeh’s request for leave was met with serious opposition from Mehrab Akbarpour, the prosecutor of Mahabad, despite the approval by the officials of Yazd Prison and the Islamic Revolutionary Court of the city and the arrangement of bail of one billion Iranian Tomans – nearly 40,000 USD.

The Mahabad prosecutor has claimed that the objection was due to the importance of the case security-wise.

On the contrary, the prisoner and his family believe that the prosecutor’s personal decision not to grant leave is decisive, as Yazd prison officials and judicial authorities have agreed to it after reviewing the details of the case. Therefore, there is no legal prohibition on allowing Mohammadzadeh’s temporary leave.

Moreover, during this period, in addition to repeatedly appealing to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Mahabad, Mohammadzadeh’s family travelled to Tehran to follow up on his case and submit his letter requesting leave to the judicial authorities.

Judicial authorities use ‘extra-legal power’ in Kurdistan – Human rights activist

Kaveh Kermanshahi, a member of the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) board of directors, had expressed concerns about Ghader Mohammadzadeh’s physical condition.

Kermanshahi added: “Mohammadzadeh’s family and specifically his elderly mother, who has not even been able to travel to Yazd to visit her son, have secured with difficulty a heavy bail of one billion Tomans for his leave and have carried out all legal procedures in the Mahabad court. However, the opposition of the Mahabad prosecutor has delayed the granting of this legal right. The decision of the Mahabad prosecutor has no legal justification and is based only on his personal judgement.”

Pointing out to the differences in the application of the laws in various regions of the country, Kermanshahi said:

“Unfortunately, judicial authorities in areas such as Kurdistan, even in relation to political prisoners, not only do not act under the existing laws but also place both prisoners and their families in harsh and torturous conditions with their extra-legal powers. These pressures and actions are more severe for prisoners who do not have the economic means to have a lawyer.”


On 20 December 2005, security forces arrested Ghader Mohammadzadeh, born in 1977 in Bukan, and Mohammad Amin Abdollahi for their alleged “membership in Komalah Party” and “murder of an Iranian military official”.

The two political prisoners were transferred to Orumiyeh Central Prison after several months in solitary confinement in the detention centres of the Ministry of Intelligence in Mahabad and Orumiyeh, which was accompanied by torture aiming at obtaining forced to confess.

After 15 months of uncertainty, Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Mahabad tried them on charges of “enmity against God”.

The court sentenced Ghader Mohammadzadeh to 20 years and six months in prison and exile in Yazd Prison, and Mohammad Amin Abdollahi to 18 years in prison and exile in Tabas Prison. Later, the Court of Appeal of West Azerbaijan province upheld the verdicts.

Separately, the Criminal Court of Mahabad sentenced Mohammadzadeh to seven years in prison and “retribution in kind” on “premeditated murder” charges. In 2013, the Supreme Court dropped the sentence to payment of blood money as compensation after the prisoner appealed against the ruling.

In a separate case in February 2011, Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced the Kurdish political prisoner to six months in prison on charges of “communicating with foreign media”.