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July 25, 2012

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Statement on Hunger Strike

Kurdishaspect.com – By Amir Sharifi

Kurdish Human Rights Advocacy Group joins the Campaign of Supporting Kaboodvand to express its solidarity with Mr. Kaboodvand, a Kurdish political prisoner who is on hunger strike to express his protest to his plight and the deplorable condition in which all political prisoners find themselves in Iran. Mr. Kaboodvand occupies a distinct place of honor in the annals of human rights activism as a founder of a Kurdish human rights organization, sentenced to over a decade of imprisonment for his engagement with human rights and ethnic and religious discriminations. His latest courageous act belies the fact he is putting his precarious yet dynamic life in greater danger to protest the inhumane conditions and treatments to which political prisoners are subjected under Islamic Republic of Iran. Hunger strike remains the last form of expressive political protest under autocratic regimes. Mr. Kaboodvand’s hunger strike is more a testimony to his living will than his desire to die. 

The plight of Mr. Kaboodvand is revealing as he is pleading the international community to see his frail, starved and inscribed body as the last testimony, as a mark of visibility denied. This expressive protest as his last resort retells the tragic yet selfless drama that unfolds in the prisons of Islamic Republic every day against the blight and the plight caused by the theocratic regime. His struggle reminds us of hunger strikes launched by prominent figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, and Bobby Sands who awakened the world to crucial issues of human rights, social injustice, and political repression of their times. Although deprived of every right and rendered powerless, Mr. Kaboodvand shows that in the absence of legislative and constitutional rights, he is using hunger strike to symbolize his universal outcry for moral and humanitarian values and justice.

While we support Mr. Kaboodvand in his fearless, heroic and persistent struggle for freedom, we are concerned about his life. The international community is now absorbed and ensnared in the nuclear weapons rhetoric, thus losing sight of the urgency and gravity of human rights in Iran .It is time that human rights organizations again confront the Islamic Republic on the issue of human rights more aggressively. Mr. Kaboodvand is in a precarious situation; it is imperative that the U.N, particularly the Human Rights Commission make effective use of its offices on behalf of Mr. Kaboodvand to address and redress his demands including his request for the right to visitation by his family, particularly his terminally ill son. We call on the United Nations to assign a UN rapporteur to prepare an onsite report on the torturing condition of prisons and plight of political prisoners such as Mr. Kaboodvand so that greater pressure is exerted on the Islamic Republic to halt its exterminating campaign against human rights activists and releases political prisoners as human rights organizations and individuals continue to illuminate the path to the realization of fundamental rights and freedoms in Iran.

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