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Iranian prisoner Farhad Meysami not on hunger strike: Judiciary

The frame on the right shows Iranian prisoner Farhad Meysami in a photo the BBC Persian purports to have been taken inside the prison. The news outlet shared it on February 2, 2023. The frame on the left shows Meysami in a photo published by Iran’s Mizan news agency on February 3, 2023.

Iran’s judiciary has dismissed reports that Iranian prisoner Farhad Meysami has gone on a hunger strike.

Iran’s Mizan news agency, affiliated with the judiciary, reported that Meysami had indeed gone on a hunger strike nearly four years ago, but he was not currently on a strike.

The report came after photos were shared on social media purportedly showing the prisoner in a frail and sickly condition. However, it did not clarify whether those images were new.

“After he entered prison in 2018, he did go on [hunger] strike for a temporary period and he lost some weight since he had a background of colitis. But following interventions by doctors and consultations by prison officials, he broke his strike and underwent treatment.”

“Inquiries by the prison organization’s public relations indicate Meysami is not on a hunger strike now, but he has told fellow prisoners and prison officials that he eats the least amount of food,” Mizan said.

The report said Meysami, who has been serving a five-year term since August 2018 on charges of insulting sanctities and attempting to undermine national security, was being periodically examined by the prison’s doctor and his general condition was reported to be good.

The BBC Persian and some other Western-based media outlets have recently published photos showing Meysami in an emaciated condition.

They claimed that he has been on hunger strike for nearly four months in support of the recent riots in Iran. The BBC Persian also published a letter said to be written by Meysami in which he vowed to continue his hunger strike until his demands are met.

The images were widely shared on Twitter and other social media platforms, and drew reactions from Iranian and Western regime-change advocates.

Notably, Washington’s special envoy for Iran Robert Malley described Meysami’s images as “shocking” and accused Iran of “unjustly” denying him his rights and “threatening” his life.

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