The Rajabian brothers, Mehdi and Hossein, began a hunger strike on September 8, when officials denied Mehdi a medical furlough to receive treatment outside of Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran. After protesting the conditions of the prison, the two were split up into separate wards. They agreed to end the strike once promises were made to put them back together and meet Mehdi’s medical needs.
This was a trick though, as no needs were met and according to an open letter sent from the prison, Hossein wrote, “Nearly two months have passed and conditions have actually gotten worse.”
They resumed their strike on October 28, despite the serious health risks. Hossein has a severe lung infection, and was in the hospital for five days just prior to starting the hunger strike. Mehdi is experiencing symptoms similar to Multiple Sclerosis. His diagnosis is unclear, but he is weak and can only walk with a cane.
The letter continues,
“We call on all musicians around the world to condemn these abuses with a worthy response. Do not forget us in these suffocating times… There’s no greater suffering than to be forgotten.”
The brothers are serving a three year sentence for allegedly distributing underground music without a permit.