Imprisoned Iranian civil rights activist Farhad Meysami says he is determined to continue the hunger strike he launched nearly four months ago, as pictures are circulating on social media showing he has lost a lot of weight.
In a letter written from Rajaeshahr prison, near Tehran, Meysami vowed to continue his protest action until his demands are met, including an end to the execution of protesters, the release of six political prisoners and a halt to the harassment of women over the compulsory headscarf.
Meysami, a medical doctor, has been in prison since August 2018 after being sentenced to six years for supporting women protesting the strict dress code that forces them to cover their hair and bodies in public.
The activist was charged with “spreading propaganda" against the Islamic Republic, “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security,” and "insulting the sacred things."
Before his arrest, he participated in rallies in support of prisoners’ rights and in protest at the Islamic Republic’s rules on mandatory hijab.
Meysami launched his hunger strike after the eruption of nationwide protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s headscarf law.
In response to the women-led protest movement, the authorities have unleashed a fierce crackdown on dissent, killing more than 520 people and detaining over 18,000, activists say. The judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.