Akbar Lakestani, Iranian-American Dual Citizen, Taken to Hospital after Hunger Strike

Akbar Lakestani, a dual citizen and in custody in Orumiyeh Prison, who has been on a hunger strike since October 19th, 2019, has been transferred to Imam Khomeini Hospital in Orumiyeh. According to Reza Lakestani, Akbar Lakestani’s son, he went on a hunger strike because of lack of medical attention and not processing his case.

According to the Campaign for the Defense of Political and Civil Prisoners, on Thursday, October 31st, 2019, Akbar Lakestani was transferred to the Imam Khomeini Hospital after a fourteen-day hunger strike in Orumiyeh prison because to health deterioration.

Reza Lakestani, Akbar Lakestani’s son, told the Campaign: “My father was at Imam Khomeini Hospital under security watch, but I was able to talk to him very briefly, and in this conversation, I learned that he has been on hunger strike since October 19th, 2019, because of lack of due process of his case.”

According to this report, Mr. Lakestani, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war needs several insulin injections daily due to his diabetes, which has also raised concerns from his family.

Branch 6 of the Orumiyeh interrogation of Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office, headed by interrogator Sarkhanloo, informed Mr. Lakestani of his accusations of “propaganda against the regime”, “insulting the leadership” and “illegally crossing the border” over the past few days.

Regarding his father’s case, Reza Lakestani tells the Campaign: “Branch 6 issued a 6 million Tomans bail for my father’s temporary release, but over the past few days, despite family provided bail money, the interrogator has refused to accept the bail.”

The former political prisoner is said to have ended his hunger strike after being transferred to the hospital and at the pleading of his family.

Akbar Lakestani was arrested at the Sarv border by the Revolutionary Guard Intelligence services on Saturday, September 28th, 2019.  He was transferred to the agency detention center for interrogation.  After interrogation was concluded, he was transferred to Orumiyeh prison on October 4th, 2019

Mr. Lakestani, the head of the Shute City Council and a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, was arrested in 2007 on charges of “insulting government officials” and “propaganda activity against the system”. He was temporarily released on 40 million Tomans bail after a month.

The reasons for the charges were due to a speech at the mosque in the city of Shute, for not welcoming the President (Ahmadinejad) in September 2006, sending a list of death and wounded for the events in Azerbaijani cities with a letter from the Shute City Council its signature to the United Nations, interviews with foreign media, and public protests over his disqualification from the third term of the Islamic Council in the courtyard of the parliament.

The Khoy Revolutionary Court sentenced Mr. Lakestani to three years in prison in December 2007.  Due to his multiple health issues and serious physical deterioration, as well as reports from a trusted prison physician and medical reports from Maku Prison, he was temporarily release on bail. After a while he was forced to leave the country due to the pressure from security forces.

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