Kurdish political prisoner Sardar Ozmush went on a hunger strike on 1 January to protest against his continued “unjust” imprisonment at Orumiyeh Central Prison.

Ozmush, a Kurdish civilian from Turkey who holds Iraqi citizenship, was arrested by security forces in Orumiyeh on 11 December 2019. He was then taken to Orumiyeh Central Prison after 10 days of interrogation at one of the city’s security detention centres.

In February 2020, Branch 2 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh, presided over by Judge Ali Sheikhlo, sentenced Ozmush to 15 years in prison on charges of “acting against national security” through membership in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

He was also sentenced by Branch 116 of the Orumiyeh Court to three years in prison on charges of “illegal entry into the country,” which was reduced to two years in prison by Branch 13 of the Orumiyeh Court of Appeals.

Ozmush was convicted even though he had left the PKK lines about 14 years ago and settled in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

He obtained Iraqi citizenship and passports during these 14 years and travelled to Iran legally.

In July 2020, Branch 25 of the Supreme Court upheld the sentence of 15 years imprisonment.

Since his arrest, Ozmush has been deprived of the right to be sent on leave.