Friends and family of Christian prisoner Maryam Naghash Zargaran are relieved and pleased to report that Maryam has ended her recent hunger strike.
Maryam, who was granted medical furlough for a range of health issues in June 2016, returned to Evin Prison, Tehran on 27th June to continue serving a four-year prison sentence on charges of “acting against national security”.
Maryam had previously been arrested in January 2013 in connection with her work on an orphanage with the Christian ex-prisoner Saeed Abedini.
Maryam, who had previously gone on hunger strike when her request for medical furlough had been denied, started another hunger strike on 5th July, initially in support of fellow prisoner and prominent human rights activist Narges Mohammadi (according to Human Rights Activists News Agency), but later with the demand for her own “immediate and unconditional release” in view of the inadequate treatment of her health issues. Prison officials examined Maryam on 20th July and provided a medical report confirming the seriousness of her condition, but her demand for release was denied by an Iranian court at the request of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).
It is reported that Maryam’s health deteriorated considerably during the hunger strike, her blood pressure dropped, she had pains and numbness in her feet – possibly early signs of Multiple Sclerosis – and suffered psychological issues as a consequence of her imprisonment.
Those close to Maryam request our prayers that:
- Maryam will know God’s encouragement, recovery and strengthening
- the Lord will also encourage and support Maryam’s family
- those responsible for blocking Maryam’s request for unconditional release will have a change of heart, and that Maryam will be released from prison soon
- God will move the Iranian authorities and officials to love mercy and act justly
Open source: Human Rights Activists News Agency and MEC