Political prisoner Vahid Sayadi Nasiri (pictured) has died in a hospital in Qom in central Iran.
Nasiri was seized in August. His sister Elaheh said the activist went on hunger strike to protest against conditions and demand transfer from the high-security unit of a Qom prison to Tehran’s Evin Prison.
Nasiri was first arrested in September 2015 over posts on his Facebook page. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “propaganda against the state”. He was released in early March before his rearrest in the summer on similar charges.
The US State Department condemned the “unconscionable” death. Deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said Nasiri was “arbitrarily detained…[had] “no access to legal counsel, was held in inhumane conditions, and was charged with spurious national security offences”.
The statement also named two other detainees, medical doctor Farhad Meysami — also said to be on hunger strike — and human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.
Meysami was detained in July for supporting women’s protest against the hijab law for compulsory head covering.
He reportedly stopped eating in August to protest the charges he faces and his lack of access to a lawyer of his choosing. He is said to be in a medical clinic at Evin Prison, where he is being force-fed intravenously.
Sotoudeh was arrested in June after her representation of several of the hijab protesters.
On Thursday, the European Parliament called on the Iranian Government to “immediately and unconditionally” release Sotoudeh, the co-winner of the Parliament’s 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
The lawyer, who was imprisoned from 2010 to 2013 for her legal activities, is being denied visits with his children. Her husband Reza Khandan was also detained this autumn and is demanding a public trial.