Some 22 prisoners of conscience in Rajai Shahr Prison of Karaj, northern Iran, have gone on a hunger strike after the Public Prosecutor of Tehran disrespected Sunnis during a visit to the prison on 30 June.

The Prosecutor and a group of 115 judicial officials visited the Rajai Shahr prison.

During a meeting with some prisoners of conscience in the Hosseiniyeh hall of the prison [the meeting hall of Shiite rituals], the prosecutor was reported to have said that “Sunnis do not have the right to live in Iran”.

The statement sparked widespread opposition by Sunni prisoners.

On the same day, at least 22 prisoners of conscience in Hall 11, section 4, wrote letters to the deputy director of Rajai Shahr prison, announcing a 3-day hunger strike.

“Ali Salehi, the Prosecutor of Tehran, together with a 115-person judicial team, visited the wards of the Rajai Prison in Karaj. Three Sunni prisoners named Seyyed Tohid Ghoreishi, Yasin Abbas-Choubi, and Sadegh Ayoubi were disrespected by the Prosecutor during a meeting in Hosseiniyeh [hall] of the prison”, said a source that spoke to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).

According to the source, the prosecutor said, “Sunnis have no right to live in Iran,” in response to the Sunni group’s legal demands.

After these three prisoners returned to their wards and reported the meeting to other prisoners of conscience, all 22 prisoners of conscience went on a hunger strike to express their objections.

In the end, this source added, “Prisoners of conscience have also delivered a letter of protest to the deputy of the Rajai Shahr prison of Karaj and announced a hunger strike.”