Political prisoners Soheil Arabi and Behnam Mousivand started a hunger strike since Tuesday after they were violently taken to the quarantine ward of Rajai Shahr Prison.
According to reports, the order to beat and the forcible transfer of the prisoners was issued by Allah Karam Azizi, the director of Rajai Shahr Prison.
On October 6, the two activists refused to attend a court hearing related to a case filed against them during their imprisonment.
After their refusal to attend the court, Valiullah Mohammadi, the deputy director of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, threatened to beat them.
The charges against the activists in this case are “disturbing the order of the prison” and “insulting the Supreme Leader.”
Soheil Arabi was recently sentenced in another case by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to two years in prison, a fine, and a ban on leaving the country.
In a separate case in June, Arabi had been charged with “propaganda activities against the regime and disturbing the public opinion”.
Arrested in November 2013, Arabi was initially sentenced to death for “insulting the Prophet” in comments he posted on Facebook that were critical of the clerical regime and some senior officials.
Upon appeal his sentence was reduced to seven and a half years in prison and two years of religious studies to prove his repentance, as well as a two-year ban from traveling abroad.
He has been denied leave since his arrest.
In 2018, he was sentenced to three more years behind bars, increasing his total term to 10 years for engaging in peaceful activism inside the prison.
Behnam Mousivand was arrested at his home on February 1, 2018 by intelligence agents and transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Center, Ward 209 of Evin Prison. Mr. Mousivand was released on March 19, 2018.
In September 2019, Mousivand was sentenced by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, to five years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” and to one year in prison on charges of “spreading propaganda against the regime.”
The verdict was upheld by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals. He has been ordered to serve five years behind bars according to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, which allows defendants to serve only the longest sentence in cases involving multiple convictions.
He was arrested on June 14, 2020, to begin serving his prison sentence.