Sunday, August 19, 2007

Prison Demo
Iranian Ali Panah is on the 36th day of a hunger strike in protest at his detention without trial or charge for the past 18 months. He was transferred from Mt Eden prison to Auckland hospital last week. He is refusing all food as well as a drip and is taking water only. He is weak, becoming emaciated and confused. Ali arrived here several years ago and applied for refugee status. His application was declined and he was arrested 18 months ago and detained at Mt Eden Prison to be deported. However it is not safe for him to return to Iran so he has refused to sign papers applying for an Iranian passport. As a Christian convert (before he came to NZ) his life would be in danger. Ali has the strong support of his New Zealand employer, his Anglican vicar and fellow parishioners as well as the Iranian community in New Zealand.

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