Bahareh Hedayat, an Iranian political prisoner in Evin Prison, has gone on hunger strike to protest repression and the death of another prisoner Javad Rouhi.
Javad Rouhi, a young Iranian protester who was one of the icons of the Women, Life, Freedom movement died in prison on Thursday.
Hedayat’s act coincides with the approaching anniversary of the Iranian uprising in September 2022 after Mahsa Amini died in hijab police custody.
In a poignant letter received by Iran International, Hedayat laments the Iranian government's efforts to normalize the loss of countless young lives.
In her statement, Hedayat articulates her motives: "I, in obedience to my conscience and in its defense, protest against the tragic death of Javad Rouhi in prison and express my support for the year-long, unyielding resistance of women in my country for freedom. I hereby declare my hunger strike, commencing from Friday evening. May this humble contribution serve the cause of freedom for Iran, a nation weary of tyranny."
Furthermore, Hedayat underscores the government's attempts to manipulate and distort the collective conscience, employing tactics that include the spilling the blood of the youth, suppression of university students, dismantling of academic institutions, and subjecting grieving families to relentless persecution.
Hedayat further condemns the accusations of collaboration with foreign governments against Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, two imprisoned journalists who first reported Mahsa Amini's death.
Hedayat, a dedicated activist, played a crucial role in the One Million Signatures campaign aimed at reforming discriminatory laws against women in Iran. Throughout her activism, she faced multiple arrests and periods of imprisonment.