About 240 Iranian civil activists have called the “inhumane treatment” of political activist Keyvan Samimi Behbahani a "gradual assassination attempt", calling for his immediate release.
In a statement on Tuesday, the activists also called for the release of all political and ideological prisoners, and urged the Islamic Republic’s authorities to stop manufacturing political charges for journalists based on baseless allegations.
Condemning the new cases brought against Samimi, the statement referred to his "various illnesses", and stressed that "the responsibility for any negligence and unfortunate incident will fall on the senior judicial, security and political officials of the Islamic Republic."
According to the statement, authorities have recently filed a new case against the 74-year-old journalist -- among the oldest prisoners of conscience in Iran -- "merely for publishing his views on a personal telegram channel."
He was arrested again following a furlough in May after being summoned to the Evin prison and was sent to Semnan Prison.
In a letter from prison, Samimi expressed support for the popular protests that are growing across the country, saying, "Non-violent rallies are aimed at restoring the lost rights of the nation, which will lead to structural change."
In February, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) expressed concern for the lives of three jailed activists, including Samimi, who it said had been transferred to jails known for “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, in a practice often used to deliberately break the resistance of prisoners of conscience.”