Iranian journalist Saeed Razavi Faghih has reportedly been released from Evin Prison following a two-week hunger strike.
According to the Iranian news website Kaleme, the reformist journalist was released on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. The reason for his release is unknown.
Razavi Faghih, who suffers from serious heart complications, had been on a hunger strike for two weeks to protest the conditions under which he was being held in Evin Prison. On April 3, 2016, he reportedly continued his protest by sewing his lips together.
Razavi Faghih has been detained on a number of occasions for his journalism activities. His latest arrest took place on March 6, 2014, after which he spent a year in prison for “security-based crimes.”
But at the end of his sentence, Razavi Faghih was kept in prison, and new charges were leveled against him. The court sentenced him to three-and-a-half years on charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader and the Assembly of Experts” and “propaganda against the regime” for a speech he gave in 2013.
In the speech, Razavi Faghih made references to the political unrest following the controversial presidential election of 2009 and rejected official claims that the dispute between the Iranian people and their government had been resolved.
“If this is a closed case, why are people still out on the street demanding that protest leaders be released [from house arrest]?” he was quoted as saying. “The problem has been removed from view, but remains unresolved.”
Since his latest arrest, Razavi Faghih has been hospitalized several times due to medical neglect in prison.
In February 2015, he was sent to a hospital for heart surgery. According to reports, he was chained to his hospital bed. A picture of him in the hospital confirms this. He was also reportedly and banned from receiving visitors.
Following a short stay in hospital, Razavi Faghih was taken back to prison despite doctors saying he was too ill to handle the stress of imprisonment.
Speaking to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran in January, Razavi Faghih’s brother, Massoud, said his brother’s poor health had deteriorated in prison since the surgery.
In January 2016, he was transferred from Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj to Ward 7 of Tehran’s Evin Prison.
Read more about Saeed Razavi Faghih on Journalism Is Not A Crime.