Solidarity with nationwide protests over price hikes
Simultaneous with the protests and popular uprisings in different cities against price hikes, political prisoner Maryam Akbari Monfared sent a message of solidarity from behind bars in Semnan prison with “protests and cries of the Iranian people for water and bread.”
The text of the message of political prisoner Maryam Akbari Monfared from Semnan Prison, which was published on May 13, is as follows:
For years we have been losing our lives for water and bread in a rich country like Iran! From freight carriers to fuel carriers, and now the entire nation The earth and its heavens have been and are plundered.
The voice rising from Izeh, Shadegan, and Ahvaz is the voice of all of us. Soon, it will resonate throughout the country.
Together with the oppressed women who are my cellmates in Semnan Prison. Our main food was bread and cheese. But even that has become smaller due to the price hikes. We feel bitter for our people… At the same time, we are happy and encouraged to hear of the protests of our compatriots in Izeh and other cities in the south. Although they no longer have any bread on their tables, they have the honor and dignity to rise up from the blood of their loved ones.
From behind the bars in Semnan Prison, hand in hand with these oppressed women and all of you who have no more bread and water, I cry out loud: We, the hungry will get through all these sufferings. We will smile again. The future is ours!
Maryam Akbari Monfared – May 2022, Semnan Prison
Nationwide protests against price hikes in various cities
Protests against the astronomical rise in the price of bread and price hikes for other basic necessities of life, such as meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and oil, have escalated since Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
Chants of “Death to Khamenei” and “Death to Raisi” resonate in various cities, and in many places, young people seized Bassij bases and clashed with police and the Revolutionary Guards.
Maryam Akbari Monfared, a resilient political prisoner
Maryam Akbari Monfared, a resilient political prisoner in exile, is serving her 13th year of imprisonment without a single day of leave in the Prison of Semnan.
Maryam Akbari Monfared has three daughters. She was arrested on December 29, 2009, after the tremendous uprising on December 27 that year which shook the pillars of the regime. In June 2010, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran handed down a 15-year prison sentence for Moharebeh on the alleged charge of “membership in the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran,” a charge which Mrs. Akbari has never accepted. She has been in prison without a single day of leave since the day she was detained. She suffers from Thyroid malfunction and joint rheumatism.
Maryam Akbari’s sister and brother were executed during the massacre of political prisoners in the summer of 1988. Another two of her brothers were executed during the mass executions in the early 1980s.
On March 9, 2021, political prisoner Maryam Akbari Monfared was abruptly relocated from the women’s ward of Evin Prison and banished to the Prison of Semnan. She is presently being detained among ordinary prisoners in violation of the principle of separation of crimes.
Since her banishment to the Prison of Semnan, Maryam Akbari Monfared has been deprived of having a telephone card and she must call home in the presence of a prison agent. She faces more restrictions in this prison, including being deprived of receiving her medications and treatment for her illnesses.
Political prisoner Maryam Akbari Monfared has been suffering from fatty liver disease for more than 11 months. However, by order of the Ministry of Intelligence, she was not allowed to see a doctor outside the prison.
The prison’s doctor prescribed special food for liver patients for this political prisoner, but in the last 11 months ago, Ms. Akbari’s requests for proper food and a visit to a specialist have not been answered.
Despite the worsening of Maryam Akbari’s liver disease, she has been eating bread and cheese due to a lack of access to proper food. She has also repeatedly asked to buy the materials she needs from the prison store with her own money, but so far, she has not received a definite answer.
Mrs. Akbari’s physical condition has become extremely acute due to a lack of proper nutrition and lack of access to treatment, and she is suffering from various side effects.
Her family’s inquiries to return her to Evin Prison have remained unanswered. None of the Iranian Judiciary agencies accept responsibility for her banishment and do not explain why she was banished.